Hindu Marriage Laws In India

Introduction

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 considers a marriage sacrament, a pious relationship for the procreation and continuation of family lineage. All marriages between two Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, or any conversions to Hinduism are covered under the Act.  Under the Act, both the parties to the marriage can get their marriage registered, by making an application to the Marriage Registrar for the issuance of a marriage certificate. All Hindus marriages performed according to customs, rituals, and according to the Hindu rites can be lawfully registered under the act.

Conditions for Marriage

A Hindu marriage under the act can be performed between two Hindus if the following points are complied with:
  1. No party has any living partner from a previous marriage  at the time of marriage;
  2. Both parties at the time of marriage are -
  3.  
    • not of unsound mind and are  able to give a valid consent; or
    • not undergoing  any mental illness, making them unsuitable for marriage and  bearing of children; or
    • not suffering from persistent bouts of insanity.
  4.   The groom should have completed 21 years of age and the bride 18 years of age at the time of marriage,
  5. Parties to the marriage are not within the forbidden or prohibited degrees of relationship unless the religious ceremonies or tradition guiding each of them allows for such a marriage between the two;
  6.   parties are not ‘sapindas’ of each other, unless rituals and customs governing them permits of such a marriage.
Unless all these conditions are not complied with, any marriage performed would be rendered invalid.

Documentation for Registration

  • A complete application form signed by both parties,
  • Proof of date of birth date of both parties ,
  • Affidavit, stating marital status of the parties, nationality, place where the marriage was performed, etc,
  • Two passport size photographs of both parties, along with the wedding photograph and invitation card,
  • Certification by both parties certifying that the parties to the marriage are not within the forbidden degree of relationship as prescribed under the Act,
  • A certified  copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower,
  • Conversion certificate issued by the priest who performed the marriage, if one party to the marriage belongs to another religion other than Hinduism and converts to Hinduism for the purpose of the marriage under the Act.

Procedure for Registration:

The following steps have to be complied with in order to register a marriage under the act:
  • Within a month from the date of the marriage, both parties to the marriage must make an appearance with their respective families or lawful guardians or witnesses before the Marriage Registrar.
  •  
  • An application for registration of the marriage must be made to the concerned Marriage Registrar/Tahsildar under whose jurisdiction the marriage was performed or an application can be made to register the marriage to the Registrar of the place where either spouse stayed for at least six months prior to the marriage.
  • To register a marriage under the act, no prior intimation or notice is required.
  • Attach all mandatory documentation duly signed and presented with the relevant copies.
  • If the marriage has been solemnized by a priest of a temple, the priest should issue a document certifying the marriage performed by him.
  • If one of the parties to the marriage had a previous marriage, it should be clearly mentioned in the form.
  • Attestation of all the documentation by a ‘gazette or government officer’
  • The payment slip of the prescribed fee attached.
The Marriage Register is open at all working hours for obtaining all the necessary records or information at all working hours and the information contained in the Register can be used as proof for future references. 

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