India’s court marriages are solemnized under two acts: the Hindu Marriage Act (54), and the Special Marriage Act (54). The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is deemed to be the law that governs Indian court marriages. An Indian male can marry an Indian female, regardless of caste, religion, creed, or other characteristics. You can also perform it between an Indian man and a foreigner. Court Marriage is not a traditional ceremony. Both the parties can apply directly to the Marriage Registrar to perform and register the marriage and to Get Court Marriage certificate.
There is a difference between marriage under the Special Marriage Act (or Hindu Marriage Act)
The Special Marriage Act is applicable to Indian citizens, regardless of whether the Hindu Marriage Act applies. These laws require that both the parties and their families, guardians, or witnesses appear before the Registrar. They must appear within one month of the date of marriage.
- The 1954 Special Marriage Act had three main objectives.
- In certain cases, to arrange a special type of marriage.
- Registering specific marriages
- To grant a divorce.
These are the persons covered by the Act:
- Anybody, regardless of religion.
- The Special Marriage Act, 1954 allows the following to marry: Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus, Christians, Jews, Christians, or Sikhs.
- This act allows inter-religious marriages to be made.
- Indian nationals living abroad can become citizens of Indian territory.
- Indian Nationals residing abroad
The Act’s Requirements for Marriage
- Since marriage under the 1954 Special Marriage Act is a civil contract, there are no requirements regarding rites or ceremonies.
- A living spouse should not be allowed to join either party.
- Both spouses should be able and willing to consent. Each spouse must have a clear mind and be able to consent to the marriage.
- While both spouses must be able to consent, they should not be suffering from any mental disorder.
- The Male must have reached 21 years of age, while the females should reach 18.
Notice of Intention to Marry
The parties must give written notice to the District Marriage Officer if they wish to have a marriage solemnized by this Act. It must be sent to the Marriage Officer in the district where at least one party to the marriage resides for no less than 30 calendar days from the date such notice was given.
Opposition to Marriage
Any person may object to the marriage within 30 days of publication of any notice under sub-section (2) of Section 6.
The marriage can be made official after the 30 day period, provided it has not been objected to previously under sub-section (1).
Declaration by Parties and Witnesses
The declaration form in the Third Schedule of this act must be signed by the parties and three witnesses before the marriage can be solemnized. The marriage officer must sign the declaration in their presence and it shall be countersigned by him.
Place and Form of Solemnization
You can have your marriage ceremony done at the office or at a distance that is mutually agreed upon by both parties. It should be binding for both parties unless it has been agreed to in the presence and testimony of the Marriage Officer.
Certificate of Marriage
The marriage certificate shall be considered conclusive evidence that the ceremony has been legally solemnized according to this act.
After the marriage is solemnized, a Marriage Officer will enter a certificate in accordance with the format he has indicated in a book.