Hindu Marriages and Mental Illness

Last updated on May 26, 2022

Trigger Warning: The following content contains information which some readers may find disturbing.

The law states that people with mental illnesses usually do not have the capacity to enter into valid legal marriages. Mental illness means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that severely impairs judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or to meet the ordinary demands of life, and mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs.(( Section 2(s), Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.))

A person planning on getting married should be able to give valid consent. If you are not able to give consent because of:

  • Unsoundness of mind or;
  • Because of a mental disorder which makes you ‘unfit for marriage and the procreation of children’ or;
  • If you get ‘recurrent attacks of insanity’, your marriage will not be valid.

While the provision of the law may not cover all kinds of mental illnesses, there are no proper guidelines on what kind of illnesses or the degrees of illness make you unsuitable for marriage.

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