Marriage Between First Cousins Illegal In India, Rules High Court

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Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that marriage between first cousins is illegal.

The court said that marriage which petitioner man wants to perform with a girl, who is his first cousin, was also per se illegal.

“The submission in the present petition that as and when she (the girl) attains the age of 18 years, they will perform marriage is also per se illegal,” the judge said while hearing a man’s petition seeking marriage with a girl who is his first cousin, reported The Indian Express.

The 21-year-old man moved the court against state of Punjab seeking anticipatory bail in a case registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366A (procuration of minor girl) of the IPC at a police station in Ludhiana.

The state counsel opposed the bail plea, arguing that the minor girl’s parents had lodged the FIR on the ground that she and her suitor were first cousins, with their fathers being brothers.

The petitioner — and the girl — had also filed a criminal writ petition, for protection of life and liberty.

The girl was stated to be 17 years old and both of them were in a “live-in relationship”.

There was an annexure, along with petition, in which the girl stated that since her parents loved their sons but ignored her, she had decided to live with her friend (petitioner)… and that she was apprehending her parents can harass them.

Disposing the petition on September 7, the court directed the state to grant them protection if any threat was perceived to the man and the girl.

The judge, though, had made it clear “that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners (man and the girl) from legal action for violation of law, if any, committed by them”.

Hearing both parties in the present petition, the judge said: “I find that in the present petition also, the petitioner has not disclosed about the fact that he is first cousin of the girl and, therefore, the submission in the present petition that as and when she attains the age of 18 years, they will perform marriage is also per se illegal.”

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