COURT MARRIAGE IN INDIA

COURT MARRIAGE IN INDIA

These days young generation does not want to have a big fat Indian marriage & trying to opt for alternatives.

Court Marriage in India : Eligibility, Advantages, Documents Required and Registration Procedure
 

These days young generation does not want to have a big fat Indian marriage. Hence, they are trying to opt for alternatives where they can do away with the rituals and ceremonies of Indian traditional marriages. Hence, they are preferring the concept of Court marriages which are solemnized under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 has explained the concept of Court Marriage. It provides for marriage between couples who belong to different religion, caste or creed or nationality, by way of civil ceremony. It also honor and registers a marriage, at the same time.

Who can perform the Court Marriage?

Court marriage can be performed between:

  • An Indian male and a female irrespective of their caste or religion, who have attained the age of majority as per the Act;
     
  • It can also be performed between an Indian and a foreigner.

The parties can directly apply to the Registrar of Marriage for performance & registration of marriage and grant of marriage certificate.
 

Advantages of Court Marriage

The court marriage has the following advantages:

  • It is a simpler and less expensive process;
     
  • The parties to the marriage are able to arrange their marriage as per their way of solemnising it. For example: Two Hindus have the option to solemnize their marriage in Christian Style wedding if they choose to;
     
  • The married couple are free from the burden of re-applying to the marriage officer for registration of the marriage as it is covered under the process of Court Marriage;
     
  • The marriage certificate received at the conclusion of the court marriage is conclusive evidence of the marriage between the parties. Hence, there is no need to prove it otherwise by any kind of evidence.
     
What are the essential conditions for Court Marriage?

Following essential conditions are required to be satisfied before you opt for Court Marriage. They are as follows:

  • Neither of the party should have any valid persisting marriage with any other person at the time of registration of Court Marriage;
     
  • The bride should have completed eighteen (18) years of age and bridegroom should be of twenty-one (21) years at the time of marriage;
     
  • The marriage is considered as null and void if the parties fall within the degree of prohibited relationship;
     
  • The parties should not be of unsound mind or of such a nature as to be unable to give valid consent for the marriage;
     
  • The parties should not be suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and procreation of children, or has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity.
     
Documents Requirement for Court Marriage

The document requirement varies as per different scenarios related to Court Marriage. We have divided the documents requirement as per the following:

  1. Documents required when both the parties are Hindus;
     
  2. Documents Required when the parties belong to different Religion;
     
  3. Documents Required when one party is Indian National and the other is Foreign National.

Now let’s have a look on the documents requirement in detail:
 

Documents Requirement when both the parties are Hindus :-
  • Application form in the prescribed format with the prescribed fee;
     
  • Passport Size Photographs of Marrying Persons;
     
  • Residential Proof of Marrying Persons;
     
  • Date of Birth Proof of Marrying Persons;
     
  • Residential Proof and PAN Card of Three Witnesses;
     
  • Death certificate or divorce decree whichever is applicable, in case one of the parties had any marriages in the past.
     
Documents Requirement when the parties belong to different religion:-
  • Application form duly signed by both the parties;
     
  • Documentary evidence of date of birth of parties;
     
  • Residential proof of both the parties;
     
  • Two passport size photographs of both the parties;
     
  • Death certificate or divorce decrees whichever is applicable, in case one of the parties had any marriages in the past; 
     
Documents Requirement when one party is Indian National and the other is Foreign National:-
  • Application form duly signed by both the parties;
     
  • Documentary evidence of date of birth of parties;
     
  • Copy of Passport of both the parties with valid Visa;
     
  • Residential Proof of both the parties;
     
  • Documentary evidence regarding stay at district in India of one of the parties for more than 30 days (Proof of stay or report from the concerned SHO);
     
  • N.O.C. or marriage certificate from the concerned embassy or Consulate in India by a foreigner partner;
     
  • Death certificate or divorce papers whichever is applicable, in case one of the parties had any marriages in the past.
     
Court Marriage of Indian and an Foreign National

A marriage between parties, one of whom is an Indian National and the other is the Foreign National can be solemnized under Special Marriage Act in India before a Registrar of Marriage or a Marriage Officer in a foreign country. The following is the eligibility criteria of Court Marriage of an Indian National and an Foreign National: 

  • At least one of the partner must be an Indian citizen;
     
  • The bride groom must have completed the age of 21 years and the bride must be 18 of 18 years old;
     
  • None of the party must have as spouse living or any existing marriage;
     
  • Neither party is of unsound mind;
     
  • The parties are not within the line of prohibited relationship.
     
Registration Procedure of Court Marriage

The procedure for court marriage is governed by the 'Special Marriage Act, 1954' and is generally common across India. Court marriage can be solemnised between two parties who may belong to the same or different nations irrespective of their caste, religion or race.
 

Procedure of Registration when both the parties are Hindus :-
  1. The parties have to file an application or a “Notice of Intended Marriage” in writing in the prescribed format as provided in the Schedule II of the Special Marriage Act;
     
  2. The above notice needs to be submitted to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which any one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given;
     
  3. The notice is then published by the Registrar of Marriage inviting objections, if any;
     
  4. After the period of 30 days is over from the date on which notice of intended marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnized until and unless it has been objected by any person;
     
  5. The marriage may be solemnized at the specified Marriage Office;
     
  6. Both the parties have to be present on the date of registration/Solemnization along with three witnesses.
     
Registration of marriage when the parties belong to different Religion
  1. The parties have to file an application or a “Notice of Intended Marriage” in writing in the prescribed format as provided in the Schedule II of the Special Marriage Act;
     
  2. The above notice needs to be submitted to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which any 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 is given;
     
  3. The notice is then published/put-up by the Registrar of Marriage inviting objections, if any;
     
  4. After the expiry of 30 days from the date on which notice of intended marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnized unless it has been objected by any person;
     
  5. The marriage may be solemnized at the specified Marriage Office;
     
  6. Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration/Solemnization.
     
Procedure of Registration when one party is Indian National and the other party is Foreign National
 
  1. The parties to the marriage shall give notice in writing in the form specified, 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 (30) days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given, and the notice shall state that the party has so resided;
     
  2. All the documents are verified at the Office of Marriage Registrar;
     
  3. The law of other nation shall not be in conflict with Indian laws;
     
  4. The notice is then published inviting objection to the marriage, if any;
     
  5. If no objection is made, then, on the expiry of the notice publishing period, the marriage may be solemnized;
     
  6. The marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of at least three witnesses;
     
  7. Further the Marriage Certificate is entered and is granted by the Marriage Registrar.
     
What is the Remedy for the couple, if objection is filed by the third party?

In case any objection is filed by the third party, then any of the party to the marriage can file an appeal at the District Court within the local limits of their district under the jurisdiction of concerned Marriage Officer within 30 days from the date of the refusal to solemnize the marriage.
 

Is a lawyer required for Court Marriage?

It is not compulsory to hire a Lawyer for Court Marriage. But, a lawyer will be very helpful in resolving any legal issues and guide you in filling or submitting the documents/formats involved in the procedure as provided above. Also, if there is any fright of objection, hiring a lawyer would be an intelligent move as the lawyer can help in filing appeals or fighting your case in the court on valid legal points.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 

What is Minimum age requirement to get married legally in India?

The boy must have completed 21 years of his age and girl must have completed 18 years of her age.

If the boy is Hindu and Girl is Muslim/Sikh/Christian, can they do court marriage?

Yes, they can do court marriage subject to the satisfaction of the Registrar of Marraiges

If fiance is NRI/foreigner, can he/she do court marriage registration in India?

Yes, he/she is allowed for court marriage registration in India.

Can a marriage can be executed online?

No, one cannot execute marriage online. A visit to the marriage officer’s office. However, you can get all the forms online, fill the form and submit them to the registration.

How many witnesses is required for a court marriage?

Although one will be getting married on his/her own consent in the presence of the marriage officer, he/she will need to have at least three witnesses at the ceremony.

Can someone object to marriage, even though he/she is marrying in court?

Yes, the marriage officer gives a span of 30 days time for anyone to object. But, the reasons should be logical and valid.

Do spouse need a copy of the marriage certificate?

Yes, spouse should keep a signed copy of the marriage certificate as this document proves that he/she is legally married to your spouse/partner. It is the absolute evidence of the Court Marriage.

Are parents informed of the decision to marry?

No, no notice is sent to the home of the bride or groom. On the other hand, a notice is placed at the marriage officer’s office for 30 days.

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