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Bombay HC upholds validity of ‘saptapadi’ around burning agarbattis

‘Saptapadi’ around sacred fire refers to seven rounds taken by the bride and groom around a fire.

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2018 00:42 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Saptapadi,Sacred fire
The court on Friday said the term ‘sacred fire’ has not been defined under the law.(HT PHOTO)

The Bombay high court has put a stamp of approval on ‘saptapadi’ around a bundle of burning essence sticks (agarbattis)’ as a valid saptapadi as envisaged under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

‘Saptapadi’ around sacred fire refers to seven rounds taken by the bride and groom around a fire.

The court on Friday said the term ‘sacred fire’ has not been defined under the law and rejected the appeal of a citizen claiming his marriage was a nullity as the seven steps were taken not before the sacred fire, but before a bundle of burning incense sticks.

He had also alleged that the marriage was performed without his consent.

“The fact that there was a bundle of agarbattis and the appellant and the respondent took seven pheras (rounds) around it is not disputed. This would be enough to show that there was compliance of section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955,” said the bench of justice KK Tated and justice BP Colabawalla while rejecting the husband’s appeal and approving the marriage.

The section provides that a Hindu marriage may be solemnised in accordance with the customary rites, which includes the ‘saptpadi’ – when the marriage becomes complete.

The couple had tied the knot at Hanuman Temple, Malad in February 2009 and stayed together for two-and-a-half months.

They started residing separately since April 28, 2009 – the day on which the husband gave a notice of a petition filed by him with the family court at Bandra to the wife.

The husband approached the high court after the family court rejected his petition. The family court and the high court did not find any substance in his contention that he was coerced into marrying his wife as the couple had stayed together for some time.

In support of his claim, the husband had relied on evidence of the priest who had performed the marriage. The priest said he did not know what saptapadi meant and it was not performed in this marriage.

The HC, however, noticed from evidences that the couple had taken seven rounds around a bundle of burning incense sticks and the husband also applied ‘sindoor’ on the wife’s forehead. The judges observed that this was sufficient compliance of section 7 of the Act.

First Published: Apr 29, 2018 00:42 IST