Can I marry my second cousin legally?


Marriage Between First Cousins Is Illegal In India, Rules The High Court. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has ruled that marriages between first cousins are illegal. The court said that the marriage that the petitioner wanted to celebrate with a girl who was his first cousin was also illegal in itself. The position of first cousins __under the Special Marriage Act 1954 is consistent with the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, which also does not allow marriage to a first cousin.

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 does not, however, include any first cousins __on its two lists of prohibited degrees in marriage. They say there is no biological reason to discourage cousins __from getting married. According to the researchers, first cousins are somewhat more likely than unrelated parents to have a kid with a significant birth defect, mental genetic disorder, or retardation, but the risk is not as high as most people believe.

Cousin marriage, often known as “consanguinity” (marriages between couples who are second cousins or closer), is permitted and generally encouraged across the Middle East, including in Muslim nations like Pakistan. In the Arab world, an average of 45 percent of married couples were related in 2003.

The consequence of these legal provisions is that if a Hindu, a Sikh, a Buddhist or a Jain wants to marry a first cousin, they can do so under the Special Marriage Act, although their personal law (now contained in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955) does not allow this. Conversely, if a Muslim wants to marry a first cousin, he cannot under the Special Marriage Act 1954, although Muslim personal law allows such a marriage unconditionally. Members of all other communities whose laws permit or may permit marriage to a first cousin are also in the same position as Muslims. The discrimination between various Indian communities inherent in this legal situation is too obvious to ignore. Cousin marriage, often known as “consanguinity,” is permitted and generally encouraged throughout the Middle East and in Muslim nations such as Pakistan. In the Arab world in 2003, 45 percent of married couples were related on average.

Reference: Speacial Marriage Act – – AHG289 – 202100581 – 154 – 180- 202100120-20210043-4791


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