Solemnization of Marriage under Special Marriage Act was enacted to provide a special form of marriage by any person in India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries irrespective of the religion either party to the marriage may profess.

For the benefit of Indian citizens abroad, it provides for the appointment of Diplomatic and Consular Officers as marriage officers for solemnizing and registering marriages between citizens of India in a foreign country.

The Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir and also applies to citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who are in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Conditions Necessary for A Marriage

The following conditions are necessary:

  1. That neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage.
  2. That neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind.
  3. That neither party has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children.
  4. That neither party has been subject to recurrent attacks of epilepsy or insanity.
  5. That the bridegroom has completed the age of 21 years and the bride the age of 18 years at the time of marriage.
  6. That the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship. However, where a custom governing at least one of the parties permits a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized non-with standing that they are within the degrees of prohibited relationship

That where the marriage is solemnized in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both the parties are citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends.

CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR A MARRIAGE

The following conditions are necessary:

  • That neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage.
  • That neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind.
  • That neither party has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children.
  • That neither party has been subject to recurrent attacks of epilepsy or insanity.
  • That the bridegroom has completed the age of 21 years and the bride the age of 18 years at the time of marriage.
  • That the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship.

That where the marriage is solemnized in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both the parties are citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends.

Special Marriage Act, 1954 – SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE

Parties who intend to get married under the Special marriage Act shall give a notice in writing in the specified form 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.

NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE

A notice must be given in writing in the form given below 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 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such notice was given.

PUBLICATION

The notice given is then published by affixing it in some conspicuous place in the office of the Marriage Officer, and before the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the notice was published any person can object to the marriage that it would contravene any of the conditions necessary for the marriage.

After the expiry of thirty days from the date on which the notice was published the marriage may be solemnized.
DECLARATION AND WITNESSES

Before the marriage is solemnized the parties and three witnesses shall sign a declaration in the form give below, and the declaration shall be counter signed by the Marriage Officer.

PLACE AND FORM OF SOLEMNIZATION

The marriage may be solemnized at the office of the Marriage Officer or at such place within reasonable distance as the parties may desire upon payment of such additional fees as may be prescribed.

The marriage may be solemnized in a form, which the parties may choose to adopt.

However, no marriage is complete and binding unless each party says to the other in the presence of the Marriage Officer and the three witnesses in any language understood by the parties, I_______take thee________to be my lawful wife (or husband)

CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE

After the marriage has been solemnized the Marriage Officer shall enter a certificate in the Marriage Certificate Book and this shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and the three witnesses and this shall be conclusive evidence of the marriage.

REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE CELEBRATED IN OTHER FORMS

Any marriage celebrated other than a marriage solemnized under the Special Marriage Act, 1872 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 may be registered under Chapter III of the Act by a Marriage Officer if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • a ceremony of marriage has been performed between the parties and they have been  living together as husband and wife ever since
  • neither party has at the time of registration more than one spouse living;
  • neither party is an idiot or a lunatic at the time of registration:
  • the parties have completed the age of twenty-one year at the time of registration;
  • the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship:
  • the parties have been residing within the district of the Marriage Officer for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which the application is made to him for registration of the marriage.

PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION

Upon receipt of an application signed by both the parties to the marriage for the registration, the Marriage Officer shall give public notice thereof in such manner as may be prescribed and after allowing a period of thirty days for objection and after hearing any objection received within that period, shall, if satisfied that all the conditions are fulfilled, enter a certificate of the marriage in the Marriage Certificate Book in the prescribed form and such certificate shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and by three witnesses.

CONSEQUENCES OF MARRIAGE UNDER THIS ACT

EFFECT OF MARRIAGE ON MEMBER OF UNDIVIDED FAMILY

Where any member of an undivided family who professes the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion marries a non-Hindu under this Act, he shall be severed from such family. However if two persons who are Hindus and get married under this Act no such severance takes place.

SUCCESSION TO PROPERTY OF PARTIES MARRIED UNDER THIS ACT

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Succession Act, 1925 with respect to its application to members of certain communities, succession to the property of any person whose marriage is solemnized under this Act and to the property of the issue of such marriage shall be regulated by the provisions of the Indian Succession Act. However, if two persons who are Hindus get married under this Act the above provision does not apply and they are governed by the Hindu Succession Act.

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