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Sapinda Relationship And Prohibited Relations

Sapinda Relationship And Prohibited Relations

Sapinda Relation:

The word SAPINDA came from the word PINDA which means a ball of rice offered at a sraddha ceremony to deceased ancestors. According to Hindu law, when two persons offer PINDA to the same ancestor it is known as SAPINDA relation. SAPINDA relations are that relation that is connected with the same blood.

Theories Of Sapinda Relation:

Jimuthvana Theory:

according to this theory where PINDA means ball of rice offered at the sraddha ceremony to an ancestor. Here when two persons offer PINDA two one person (son or father) or where offer PINDA to the same person (brothers). Its is known as SAPINDA relation.

Vijnaneswara's Theory:

according to this theory PINDA means body here the SAPINDA relation means these are those relationships that are connected to the body.


relation means these are that relation which offers PINDA to the other here the relation considered the 5 generations of father and 3 generations of mother in this line ascent are always considered the upward generation this relation considered the full blood, half-blood, uterine blood, illegitimate, legitimate and relation by adoption.

According to the Hindu marriage act,1955 section 3 (g) SAPINDA relation says that if any person marries SAPINDA relation the relation is considered to be void. This relation is considered the lineal ascendant and descendant here lineal ascendant means child, father etc.

Violation of this clause would amount to simple imprisonment up to 1 month or a fine of Rs. 1000/- or both under section 18(b) of the act.
Case law: In the case of Harihar Prasad v. Balmiki Prasad, it was held that a valid custom should be established by clear and unambiguous evidence, it is only by means of such evidence that the courts can be assured of their existence and they should possess the condition of antiquity and certainty for legal recognition [1]. Sapinda Marriages are liable for punishment under Section 18(b) of the Act with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to one thousand, or with both.

Prohibited Relationship:

There are some relationships in Hindu marriage in which the marriage cannot be solemnized, such type of relationship is called degrees of prohibited relationship. The main purpose of this rule is to prevent incestuous marriage which is marriages between people of prohibited relationships such as brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren, etc.

Provisions Related To Prohibited Relations:

Section 3(g) of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 states persons under prohibited relationship are:
  • if one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or
  • if one was the wife or the husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other; or
  • if one was the wife of the brother or the father's or mother's brother or the grandfather's or grandmother'
  • if two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister, or two brothers or two sisters the relationship also includes:
    1. Relationship by half or uterine blood as well as by full blood.
    2. Illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate
    3. Relationship by adoption as well as by blood.

Who come under the Degrees of Prohibited Relationships are:
  1. female ascendant in the line
  2. wife of ascendant in the line
  3. wife of the brother
  4. wives of his father's brother
  5. sisters
  6. brothers

What is Full blood, Half-Blood and Uterine blood
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 explains the terms Full blood, Half-blood and Uterine blood.
  1. Full blood - Under Section 3(c) of the act, two persons are related to each other by full blood if they are descended from a common ancestor by the same wife
  2. half-blood Under Section 3(c) of the act, two persons are related to each other by half-blood if they are descended from a common ancestor but by different wives.
  3. Uterine blood - Under Section 3(d) of the act, two persons are related to each other by uterine blood if they are descended from a common ancestor but by different husbands.
The marriage between a person under relationships of full blood, half-blood, and uterine blood are also invalid. It was contended that the husband and wife are not related by blood or by uterine therefore they do not fall under degrees of prohibited relationship [4].

Sapinda relationship and Degrees of prohibited relationship are the two essential conditions in a Hindu marriage. In the ancient Hindu law the marriages between persons of these relationships were governed by Mitakshara and Dayabhaga but there were divergence existing between these two commentaries.

After the enactment of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 it had bought major changes in Hindu law and removed the divergence between these two commentaries and prohibits the marriages between persons coming under this relationship. Also some new degrees of relationships were also added to it.

  • Hindu Law Book -Mulla, Paras Diwan
  • Baract Universal

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