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The conditions and requirements of a valid marriage are now very much simplified as is evident from the provisions of Sections 5 and 17 of the Act.(5) Caste considerations for inter-caste and inter-communal marriages have now been made irrelevant, eliminating all restrictions thereupon.Some new degrees of relationship have also been added.Thus one cannot now marry a person who was the wife of the brother of the other.(3) As per Section 3 the divergence between the Mitakshara and Dayabhaga schools in connection with the expression “prohibited degrees of relationship” for the purpose of marriage is now removed.

Bigamy is now punished under the Indian Penal Code.It is a landmark in the history of social legislation.It has not simply codified the Hindu law of marriage but has introduced certain important changes in many respects.It is more a result of mutual consent than sacramental [Sections 5(ii), (iii), 11 to 13 and 7].(2) Marriages amongst Hindu, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists are now valid Hindu marriages in the eyes of the law (Section 2).(7) The Act now makes no distinction between the marriage of a maiden and the marriage of a widow.

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