Court Marriage in India

Introduction

In India, a marriage between two individuals or persons belonging to different religions, nationality, caste or creed, are governed by the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Court Marriages enables the parties to make an application to the Marriage registrar for the solemnization, registration and grant of marriage certificate, thereby doing away with the customs and rituals of a traditional marriage.

Valid conditions for Court Marriage

 Some of the essentials to constitute a valid court marriage under the act:
  • Both parties should not have a subsisting marriage at the time of Court Marriage.
  • The bridegroom should have completed twenty-one (21) years of age and bride should have completed eighteen (18) years of age.
  • The parties to the marriage must be mentally fit, not suffering from any persistent bouts of insanity.
  • The consent to the marriage should free and valid and not obtained under any coercion or undue influence.
  • The parties should not come within the degree of prohibited relationship.

Procedure for Court Marriage , where both the parties to the marriage are Hindus

  • The notice of an intended marriage has to be filed by one of the parties to the marriage with the Marriage Registrar within the area of residence of the party making such application. Provided that the party must have resided in that area for not less than 30 days immediately prior to the date on which such notice is applied for.
  • Publication of the notice for calling out any objections from the general public by the Marriage Registrar.
  • After the lapse of 30 days of the time period post the publication of the notice, and if no objection comes up within this period. The marriage would be performed as according to the provisions laid down under the act.
  • The solemnization of the marriage should take place at the stated Marriage Office.
  • On the date of the court marriage, the presence of both the parties along with three credible witnesses is required.

Documentation required for registering a Court Marriage

  • The Complete application form with the appropriate fee,
  • Passport Size Photographs of both parties,
  • Documentary proof of residence, an age proof, a pan card copy of both parties.
  • Details of three witnesses, including a copy of their pan cards.
  • A certified  copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower

Solemnization of marriage between parties belonging to different religions:

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 pertains to marriage performed between two Hindus or persons who have converted to Hinduism. Marriages between parties belonging to different religions other than Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs are performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Documentation Required:

  • The Complete application form signed by both parties.
  • Age proof and residence proof of both parties.
  • Two passport size photographs of both the parties
  • A certified  copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower,

Procedure for Registration:

  • The notice of intended marriage has to be filed by one of the parties to the marriage with the Marriage Registrar within the area of residence of the party making such application. Provided that the party must have resided in that area for not less than 30 days immediately prior to the date on which such notice is applied for.
  • Publication of the notice for calling out any objections from the general public by the Marriage Registrar.
  • After the lapse of 30 day timeperiod post the publication of the notice, and if no objection comes up within this period. The marriage would be performed as according to the provisions laid down under the act.
  • The solemnization of the marriage should take place at the stated Marriage Office.
  • On the date of the court marriage, the presence of both the parties along with three credible witnesses is required.
Performance of a Court marriage between an Indian National and a Foreign NationalUnder the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, a marriage can be performed between an Indian and a foreign citizen before a Marriage Registrar in India or a Marriage Office in a foreign country.

Eligibility Criterion:

The Act prescribes the following conditions to be complied with for registration of a marriage between an Indian and a Foreign Citizen-
  • One of the parties to the marriage must be an Indian citizen.
  • The bridegroom should have completed the age of 21 years of age; and the bride 18 years at the time of marriage.
  • No party should have a previous subsisting marriage at the time of marriage, and no living spouse as a consequence of such subsisting marriage,
  • No party suffers from any mental illness or insanity,
  • The parties are not within degree of prohibited relationship

Documentation Required:

  • The complete application form  signed by both parties,
  • Documentary evidence of age proof, residential proof,
  • Passport copy with a valid visa at the time of the marriage,
  • Evidence pertaining to place of residence in India by one of the parties for more than 30 days,
  • No objection certificate or Marital Status certificate from the concerned embassy or Consulate in India by a foreigner partner.
  • A certified  copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower,

Registration Procedure :

  • A prior application in writing is submitted with the Marriage Registrar, where either  party to the marriage has been residing for a period of 30 days or more,
  • Verification of documents by the Office of Marriage Registrar.
  • The law of another country shall not be in conflict with Indian laws.
  • The notice is then published inviting objection to the marriage, if any.
  • If no objection is made, then, on the expiry of the notice publishing period, the marriage may be solemnized.
  • The marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of at least three witnesses.
  • After the marriage has been performed and registered in the register, the marriage registrar issues the marriage certificate to the parties concerned.

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