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THE FOREIGN MARRIAGE ACT,1969

Title : THE FOREIGN MARRIAGE ACT,1969

Year : 1969



A marriage between parties one of whom at least is a citizen of India may be solemnized under this Act by or before a Marriage Officer in a foreign country, if, at the time of the marriage, the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:

(a) Neither party has a spouse living

(b) Neither party is an idiot or a lunatic

(c) The bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one years and the bride the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage

(d) The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship:

Provided that where the personal law or a custom governing at least one of the parties permits of a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized, notwithstanding that they are within the degrees of prohibited relationship.



When a marriage is intended to be solemnized under this Act, the parties to the marriage shall give notice thereof in writing in the form specified in the First Schedule to the Marriage Officer of the district in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given, and the notice shall state that the party has so resided.



The Marriage Officer shall keep all notices given under section 5 with the records of his office and shall also forthwith enter a true copy of every such notice in a book prescribed for that purpose, to be called the "Marriage Notice Book", and such book shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times, without fee, by any person desirous of inspecting the same.



Where a notice under section 5 is given to the Marriage Officer, he shall cause it to, be published:

(a) In his own office, by affixing a copy thereof to a conspicuous place.

(b) In India and in the country or countries in which the parties are ordinarily resident, in the prescribed manner.



(1)Any person may, before the expiration of thirty days from the date of publication of the notice under section 7, object to the marriage on the ground that it would contravene one or more of the conditions specified in section 4.

Explanation.-Where the publication of the notice by affiliation under clause

(a) Of section 7 and in the prescribed manner under clause

(b) Of that section is on different dates, the period of thirty days shall, for the purposes of this sub-section, be computed from the later date.

(2) Every such objection shall be in writing signed by the person making it or by any person duly authorized to sign on his behalf, and shall state the ground of objection; and the Marriage officer shall record the nature of the objection in his Marriage Notice Book.



If no objection is made within the period specified in section 8 to an intended marriage, then, on the expiry of that period, the marriage may be solemnized.



(1)If an objection is made under section 8 to an intended marriage, the Marriage Officer shall not solemnize the marriage until he has inquired into the matter of the objection in such manner as he thinks fit and is satisfied that it ought not to prevent the solemnization of the marriage or the objection is withdrawn by the person making it.

(2) Where a Marriage Officer after making any such inquiry entertains a doubt in respect of any objection, he shall transmit the record with such statement respecting the matter as he thinks fit to the Central Government; and the Central Government, after making such further inquiry into the matter and after obtaining such advice as it thinks fit, shall give its decision thereon in writing to the Marriage Officer, who shall act in conformity with the decision of the Central Government.



(1) The Marriage Officer may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, refuse to solemnize a marriage under this Act if the intended marriage is prohibited by any law in force in the foreign country where it is to be solemnized.

(2) The Marriage Officer may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, refuse to solemnize a marriage under this Act on the ground that in his opinion, the solemnization of the marriage would be inconsistent with international law or the comity of nations.

(3) Where a Marriage Officer refuses to solemnize a marriage under this section, any party to the intended marriage may appeal to the Central Government in the prescribed manner within a period of thirty days from the date of such refusal; and the Marriage Officer shall act in conformity with the decision of the Central Government on such appeal.



Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties and three witnesses shall, in the presence of the Marriage Officer, sign a declaration in the form specified in the Second Schedule, and the declaration shall be countersigned by the Marriage Officer.



(1) A marriage by or before a Marriage Officer under this Act shall be solemnized at the official house of the Marriage Officer with open doors between the prescribed hours in the presence of at least three witnesses.

(2) The marriage may be solemnized in any form which the parties may choose to adopt:

Provided that it shall not be complete and binding on the parties unless each party declares to the other in the presence of the Marriage Officer and the three witnesses and in any language understood by the parties,-"I, (A), take thee (B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)":

Provided further that where the declaration referred to in the preceding proviso is made in any language which is not understood by the Marriage Officer or by any of the witnesses, either of the parties shall interpret or cause to be interpreted the declaration in a language which the Marriage Officer or, as the case may be, such witness understands.



(1) Whenever a marriage is solemnized under this Act, the Marriage Officer shall enter a certificate thereof in the form specified in the Third Schedule in a book to be kept by him for that purpose and to be called the Marriage Certificate Book, and such certificate shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and the three witnesses.

(2) On a certificate being entered in the Marriage Certificate Book by the Marriage Officer, the certificate shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence of the fact that a marriage under this Act has been solemnized, and that all formalities respecting the residence of the party concerned previous to the marriage and the signatures of witnesses have been complied with.



Subject to the other provisions contained in this Act, a marriage solemnized in the manner provided in this Act shall be good and valid in law.



Whenever a marriage is not solemnized within six months from the date on which notice thereof has been given to the Marriage Officer as required under section 5 or where the record of a case has been transmitted to the Central Government under section 10, or where an appeal has been preferred to the Central Government under section 11, within three months from the date of decision of the Central Government in such case or appeal, as the case may be, the notice and all other proceedings arising therefrom shall be deemed to have lapsed, and no Marriage Officer shall solemnize the marriage until new notice has been given in the manner laid down in this Act.









Last updated on April, 2016

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