Wherein a woman wanted to claim the property of the deceased and the validity of her marriage came into question, it was held that a mere registration of agreement of marriage without fulfilling the Saptpadi u/s. 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 cannot be a valid marriage and an agreement of marriage is not valid proof of marriage.
The Plaintiff claimed that her marriage was registered but no registration certificate was found and yet there is no ceremony that has taken place either. The Plantiff was unable to prove the same under either the Special Marriage Act or the customs under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Keeping this in mind and the Plaintiff’s inability to prove the existence of marriage, the Supreme Court held that:
The plaintiff has led evidence to the effect that the marriage was solemnized in the office of Sub-Registrar vide Ex.P/1. Ex.P/1 has been rightly found to be not a certificate of registration of marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and that there is no evidence that any ceremony has taken place. In the agreement of marriage (Ex.P/1), it is only stated that both parties are of same caste and with the permission and consent of both of their fathers, they have entered into this agreement of marriage. This type of marriage is not recognized in law as Section 7 of the Act contemplates that the marriage can be solemnized in accordance with customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto and where such rites and ceremonies include the Saptpadi, the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.
Ultimately, the Court held that “The entire case is based upon an agreement of marriage in which there is no assertion regarding solemnization of the customary ceremonies or the rites or that the parties had performed saptpadi in the manner contemplated under Section 7 of the Act, therefore, the plaintiff cannot succeed the estate of Hanumanthappa on the basis of a marriage which she has failed to prove.”