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THE INDIAN CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE ACT, 1872

Title : THE INDIAN CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE ACT, 1872

Year : 1872



When a marriage is intended to be solemnized by, or in the presence of, a Marriage Registrar, one of the parties to such marriage shall give notice in writing, in the form contained in the First Schedule hereto annexed, or to the like effect, to any Marriage Registrar of the district within which the parties have dwelt, or
if the parties dwell in different districts, shall give the like notice to a Marriage Registrar of each district and shall state therein the name and surname, and the profession or condition, of each of the parties intending marriage, the dwelling- place of each of them, the time during which each has dwelt therein, and the place at which the marriage is to be solemnized:

Provided that, if either party has dwelt in the place stated in the notice for more than one month, it may be stated therein that he or she has dwelt there one month and upwards.



Every Marriage Registrar shall, on receiving any such notice, cause a copy thereof to be affixed in some conspicuous place in his office.
When one of the parties intending marriage is a minor, every Marriage Registrar shall, within twenty-four hours after the receipt by him of the notice of such marriage, send, by post or otherwise, a copy of, such notice to each of the other Marriage Registrars (if any) in the same district, who shall likewise affix the copy in some conspicuous place in his own office.



The Marriage Registrar shall file all such notices and keep them with the records of his office and shall also forthwith enter a true copy of all such notices in a book to be furnished to him for that purpose by the State Government, and to be called the "Marriage Notice Book" and the Marriage Notice Book shall be open at all reasonable times, without fee, to all persons desirous of inspecting the same.



If the party by whom the notice was given requests the Marriage Registrar to issue the certificate next hereinafter mentioned, and if one of the parties intending marriage has made oath as hereinafter required, the Marriage Registrar shall issue under his hand a certificate of such notice having been given and of such oath having been made:

Provided-that no lawful impediment be shown to his satisfaction why such certificate should not issue;
that the issue of such certificate has not been forbidden, in manner hereinafter mentioned, by any person authorized in that behalf by this Act ;that four days after the receipt of the notice have expired;and further,that where, by such oath, it appears that one of the parties intending marriage is a minor, fourteen days after the entry of such notice have expired.



The certificate mentioned in section 41 shall not be issued by any Marriage Registrar, until one of the parties intending marriage appears personally before such Marriage Registrar, and makes oath1*-

(a) That he or she believes that there is not any impediment of kindred or affinity, or other lawful hindrance, to the said marriage, and

(b) That both the parties have, or (where they have dwelt in the districts of different Marriage Registrars) that the party making such oath has, had their, his or her usual place of abode within the district of such Marriage Registrar and, where either or each of the parties is a minor,

(c) That the consent or consents to such marriage required by law has or have been obtained thereto, or that there is no person resident in India authorized to give such consent, as the case may be.

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1 As to the meaning of "oath", see the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10.of 1897), s. 3(37) and s. 4,

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When one of the parties intending marriage is a minor, and both such parties are at the time resident in any of the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, and are desirous of being married in less than fourteen days after the entry of such notice as aforesaid, they may apply by petition to a Judge of the High Court, for an order upon the Marriage Registrar to whom the notice of marriage has been given, directing him to issue his certificate before the expiration of the said fourteen days required by section 41.

Order on petition.-And on sufficient cause being shown, the said Judge may, in his discretion, make an order upon such Marriage Registrar, directing him to issue his certificate at any time to be mentioned in the said order before the expiration of the fourteen days so required. And the said Marriage Registrar, on receipt of the said order, shall issue his certificate in accordance therewith.



The provisions of section 19.apply to every marriage under this Part, either of the parties to which is a minor;
Protest against issue of certificate.-and any person whose consent to such marriage would be required there under may enter a protest against the issue of the Marriage Registrars certificate, by writing, at any time before the issue of such certificate, the word "forbidden" opposite to the entry of the notice of such intended marriage in the Marriage Notice Book, and by subscribing thereto his or her name and place of abode, and his or her position with respect to either of the parties, by reason of which he or she is so authorized
Effect of protest: When such protest has been entered, no certificate shall issue until the Marriage Registrar has examined into the matter of the protest, and is satisfied that it ought not to obstruct the issue of the certificate for the said marriage, or until the protest be withdrawn by the person who entered it.



If any person whose consent is necessary to any marriage under this Part is of unsound mind,
or if any such person (other than the father) without just cause withholds his consent to the marriage,the parties intending marriage may apply by petition, where the person whose consent is necessary is resident within any of the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, to a Judge of the High Court, or if he is not resident within any of the said towns, then to the District Judge:

Procedure on petition: And the said Judge of the High Court, or District Judge, as the case may be, may examine the allegations of the petition in a summary way and, if upon examination such marriage appears proper such Judge of the High Court or District Judge, as the case may be, shall declare the marriage to be a proper marriage.

Such declaration shall be as effectual as if the person whose consent was needed had consented to the marriage;
and, if he has forbidden the issue of the Marriage Registrars certificate, such certificate shall be issued and the like proceedings may be had under this Part in relation to the marriage as if the issue of such certificate had not been forbidden,



Whenever a Marriage Registrar refuses to issue a certificate under this Part, either of the parties intending marriage may apply by petition, where the district of such Registrar is within any of the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, to a Judge of the High Court, or if such district is not within any of the said towns, then to the District Judge.

Procedure on petition: The said Judge of the High Court, or District Judge, as the case may be, may examine the allegations of the petition in a summary way, and shall decide thereon.
The decision of such Judge of the High Court or District Judge, as the case may be, shall be final, and the Marriage Registrar to whom the application for the issue of a certificate was originally made shall proceed in accordance therewith.



Rep. by the A. O. 1950



Whenever a Marriage Registrar, acting under the provisions of section 44, is not satisfied that the person forbidding the issue of the certificate is authorized by law so to do, the said Marriage Registrar shall apply by petition, where his district is within any of the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, to a Judge of the High Court, or if such district be not within any of the said towns, then to the District Judge.

Procedure on petition: The said petition shall state all the circumstances of the case, and pray for the order and direction of the Court concerning the same, and the said Judge of the High Court or District Judge, as the case may be, shall examine into the allegations of the petition and the circumstances of the case, and if, upon such examination, it appears, that the person forbidding the issue of such certificate is not authorized by law so to do, such Judge of the High Court or District Judge, as the case may be, shall declare that the person forbidding the issue of such certificate is not authorized as aforesaid and thereupon such certificate shall be issued, and the like proceedings may be had in relation to such marriage as if the issue had not been forbidden.

1* * * * *
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1 The last three paragraphs rep. by the A. O. 1950.

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Every person entering a protest with the Marriage Registrar, under this Part, against the issue of any certificate, on grounds which such Marriage Registrar, under section 44, or a Judge of the High Court or the District Judge, under section 45 or 46, declares to be frivolous and such as ought not to obstruct the issue of the certificate, shall be liable for the costs of all proceedings in relation thereto and for damages, to be recovered by suit by the person against whose marriage such protest was entered.



The certificate to be issued by the Marriage Registrar under the provisions of section 41 shall be in the form contained in the Second Schedule to this Act annexed or to the like effect and the State Government shall furnish to every Marriage Registrar a sufficient number of forms of certificate.



After the issue of the certificate of the Marriage Registrar, or, where notice is required to be given under this Act to the Marriage Registrars for different districts, after the issue of the certificates of the Marriage Registrars for such districts, marriage may, if there be no lawful impediment to the marriage of the parties described in such certificate or certificates, be solemnized between them, according to such form and ceremony as they think fit to adopt.
But every such marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of some Marriage Registrar (to whom shall be delivered such certificate or certificates as aforesaid), and of two or more credible witnesses besides the Marriage Registrar.
And in some part of the ceremony each of the parties shall declare as follows, or to the like effect:-
"I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, A. B., may not be joined in matrimony to C. D. "
And each of the parties shall say to the other as follows or to the like effect:
"I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, A. B., do take thee, C. D., to be my lawful wedded wife [or husband]."



Whenever a marriage is not solemnized within two months after the copy of the notice has been entered by the Marriage Registrar, as required by section 40, the notice and the certificate, if any, issued thereupon, and all other proceedings thereupon, shall be void;
and no person shall proceed to solemnize the marriage, nor shall any Marriage Registrar enter the same, until new notice has been given, and entry made, and certificate thereof given, at the time and in the manner aforesaid.



A Marriage Registrar before whom any marriage is solemnized under this Part may ask of the persons to be married the several particulars required to be registered touching such marriage.



After the solemnization of any marriage under this Part, the Marriage Registrar present at such solemnization shall forthwith register the marriage in duplicate; that is to say, in a marriage-register-book, according to the form of the Fourth Schedule hereto annexed, and also in a certificate attached to the marriage-register-book as a counterfoil.
The entry of such marriage in both the certificate and the marriage-register-book shall be signed by the person by or before whom the marriage has been solemnized, if there be any such person, and by the Marriage Registrar present at such marriage, whether or not it is solemnized by him, and also by the parties married, and attested by two credible witnesses other than the Marriage Registrar and person solemnizing the marriage.
Every such entry shall be made in order from the beginning to the end of the book, and the number of the certificate shall correspond with that of the entry in the marriage-register-book.



The Marriage Registrar shall forthwith separate the certificate from the marriage-register-book and send it, at the end of every month, to the 1*[Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages].
Custody of register-book: The Marriage Registrar shall keep safely the said register-book until it is filled, and shall then send it to the 1*[Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages], to be kept by him with the records of his office.

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1 Subs. by Act 6 of 1886, s. 30 (b), for "Secretary to the L. G.".

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Rep. by the A. O. 1950



When any Indian Christian about to be married gives a notice of marriage, or applies for a certificate from a Marriage Registrar, such Marriage Registrar shall ascertain whether the said Indian Christian understands the English language, and, if he does not, the Marriage Registrar shall translate, or cause to be translated, such notice or certificate, or both of them, as the case may be, to such Indian Christian into a language which he understands;
or the Marriage Registrar shall otherwise ascertain whether the Indian Christian is cognizant of the purport and effect of the said notice and certificate.



When any Indian Christian is married under the provisions of this Part, the person solemnizing the marriage shall ascertain whether such Indian Christian understands the English language, and, if he does not, the person solemnizing the marriage shall, at the time of the solemnization, translate, or cause to be translated, to such Indian Christian, into a language which he understands, the declarations made at such marriage in accordance with the provisions of this Act.



The registration of marriages between 1*[Indian] Christians under this Part shall be made in conformity with the rules laid down in section 37 (so far as they are applicable), and not otherwise.

Last updated on April, 2016

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