New Delhi: The Supreme Court today declined
to entertain a petition seeking its direction to government
for amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) to prohibit
weddings in the same clan (gotra).
A vacation Bench of Justices Deepak Verma and K S
Radhakrishnan asked the petitioners to approach the High Court
with their plea.
The petitioners Naresh Kandyan and Sukhdev Singh had
contended that medical science has proved that marriages among
close relatives might lead to genetic disorders in the
The petition alleged the Environment and Forest Ministry
has prohibited in-breeding even among animals and allowing
same gotra marriages to exist among Hindus would play havoc
with the fabric of the society.
"Although severe inbreeding depression in humans seems
to be highly uncommon and not widely known, there have been
several cases of apparent forms of inbreeding depression in
human populations. As with animals, this phenomenon tends to
occur in isolated, rural populations that are cut off to some
degree from other areas of civilization," the petition said.
Pointing out that the same clan marriage has become the
burning question for Haryana and National Capital Region, the
petition said amendment in the Act was required for the
prevention of honour killings as the same gotra wedding is
valid in the law even though social custom prohibits it.
Contending that prohibition of marriage among people of
the same clan was the customary right of all Hindus, the
petitioners said the practice was violative of their
fundamental rights under Article 25, 25(2) and 29(1) of the