This is a sad story:

The Bombay high court on Monday rejected one Harmant Singh’s plea that his “wife” Hardeep, who is also his first cousin, be allowed to live with him. The Hindu Marriage Act disallows marriage between first cousins.

Boy loves girl; boy marries girl; boy and girl are first cousins; boy and girl are Hindu; High Court plays spoilsport.

We often accuse courts of bad decisions when in fact courts only exist to interpret the constitution. Marriages in India have to be registered under one of the many marriage acts. The couple in question likely registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, which prohibits marriages between cousins and the uncle-niece, aunt-nephew combinations. (They likely haven’t seen cases of uncle-nephew and aunt-neice.).

The only problem here seems to be that the couple registered their marriage under the incorrect marriage act.

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What about those who identify themselves as non-religious? The Special Marriage Act of 1954 allows it. There is a clause that “The parties should not fall within the degree of prohibited relationship”. ‘Prohibited relationship’ only includes siblings and half-brothers/sisters. This act works for the above couple.

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I don’t think law should have anything to do with adult consensual siblings wanting to marry. The scientific reason is that repeated inbreeding leads to congenital birth disorders. But that is no reason to debar their marriage. What if they intend to adopt?

To underline what I’m saying: I’m not for incest; I’m against laws against incest.

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While searching about marriage laws in India, I discovered a website for Atheist Matrimonials. Enjoy .. or send them hate mail. Whatever works for you.

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