Divorce under Hindu Marriage Act applicable only if both parties Hindus – Bombay HC

Marriages Law (Amendment) Bill Slows down Divorce Proceedings.

Hindus who tie the knot with non-Hindus can not seek a divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has ruled that a Hindu married to a non-Hindu in accordance with Hindu rituals is not eligible to seek divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Any Hindu who is married to a non-Hindu can not seek divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act even if the marriage in concern was conducted in accordance with Hindu rituals, the Bombay High Court ruled.

The court upheld a previous family court order that turned down a petition filed by one Niranjani Roshan Rao – a Hindu by birth who tied the knot with a Christian man. Apparently, Rao seeked divorce on the ground that her husband Roshan Pinto was still practicing Christianity even after the marriage


After the family court had rejected her petition, Rao moved to Bombay High Court. In the petition, she mentioned that the marriage which took place in January 13, 1999, was conducted as per Hindu rituals. However, she failed to convince the division bench headed by Justice VK Tahilramani as the higher court upheld the family court’s verdict.

Also See

“We are of the view that an order passed by the learned judge of the family court is perfectly legal and calls for no interference in exercise of appellate jurisdiction,” said the bench while delivering the judgment.

The High Court also observed that the appellant had herself admitted that the respondent was never a Hindu – not at the time of the marriage or thereafter.

“If this condition is not fulfilled and there was no contravention of provisions under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the family court was right in saying that she had no right to file such a petition”, the bench clarified.

The judges added by saying that provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act can be duly applied only in cases where both parties were Hindus at the time of the marriage and their marriage is conducted in accordance to Hindu rituals.