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Programmes for Women and their Impact:The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

This Act came into force from May 18, 1955 and applies to whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir. The word Hindu in the Act includes Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and the Scheduled Castes.

The conditions for marriage between any two Hindus as provided in the Act are: (i) neither party has a spouse living; (ii) neither party is an idiot or lunatic; (iii) the groom must have completed eighteen years age and the bride fifteen years age.

The amendment in the Act made in 1978 has raised this age to twenty-one years for boys and eighteen years for girls (iv) the parties should not be within the degrees of prohibited relationships, unless the custom permits the marriage between the two; (v) the parties should not be sapindas of each other unless the custom permits the marriage between the two; (vi) where the bride is under eighteen years of age and the groom is under twenty-one years of age the consent of her/his guardian in marriage must have been obtained.