SC stays Patna HC order annulling an alleged ‘Pakadwa Vivah’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed an order passed by the Patna High Court annulling an alleged ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ or ‘forced marriage’.

“Issue notice. Till further orders, operation and implementation of the impugned judgment shall remain stayed,” ordered a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah on Wednesday.

In November 2023, a bench of Justices P B. Bajanthri and Arun Kumar Jha of the Patna High Court said that a traditional Hindu form of marriage is not a valid marriage in absence of performance of ‘saptapadi’ and ‘datta homa’.

“If ‘saptapadi’ has not been completed, the marriage would not be considered to be complete and binding,” the High Court said.

In his plea before the High Court, the appellant-Armyman contended that he was coerced into the marriage at gunpoint and said that he was forced to put vermillion (sindur) on the forehead of the girl without any religious or spiritual rites and rituals.

On the other hand, the respondent submitted that their marriage had been solemnized in June 2013 under Hindu customs and at the time of marriage, her father gave gift of gold, Rs 10 lakh and other material.

In ‘Pakadwa Vivah’, boys are taken hostage by kidnapping or coaxing and then married to a girl as per customs and traditions and the wishes of the boy and girl, who become bride and groom, have no importance.

According to senior citizens, the main reason for this was that people were unable to marry their daughters to employed men due to their inability to pay dowry. However, they wanted to marry their daughters in a good family, and hence this type of marriage was started by them.


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