Beware of Crypto Christians

published on December 6, 2008

Hindu-Christian wedlock invalid under Hindu Marriage Act: Supreme Court

New Delhi, Dec 06: Marriage between a Hindu and a
Christian is invalid under the Hindu Marriage Act, as the Act
provides for only Hindu couples to enter into wedlock, the
Supreme Court ruled on Saturday.

A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Aftab Alam upheld
the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court which nullified
a marriage, after the wife, Bandaru Pavani, a Hindu, claimed
that her husband, Gullipilli Sowria Raj a Christian, had
misled her by pretending to be a Hindu and married her at a

The husband had misinformed about his social status, the
wife had complained while seeking divorce

According to the couple, Raj, a Roman Catholic Christian
married Pavani on October 24, 1996, in a temple by way of
exchanging of ‘Thali’ (sacred thread) in the absence of any
representative from either side.

Subsequently, the marriage was registered on November 2,
1996 under Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The matrimonial court rejected her plea for divorce
saying the marriage was valid under the Hindu Marriage
Act 1955, even if one of the parties belonged to any other

However, the High Court upheld her plea and said the
marriage was void as the Act postulated marriage only between
Hindus, following which the husband filed the SLP in the apex

Dismissing the Christian husband’s appeal, the apex
court said Section 5 of the Act makes it clear that a
marriage may be solemnised between any two Hindus if the
conditions contained in the said Section were fulfilled.

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