Court Marriage in India: Step by Step Procedure Priyansi Vijay Patil
Marriage is a legally recognised social contract between two people. Marriage is considered to be a sacred institution in India. Marriages in India are festive occasions and in most cases celebrated with extensive decorations, music, dance, costumes and rituals.
In today’s fast-moving world some people prefer Love marriages in Court in India, due to lack of time. Court marriage in India means legal authorization of marriage between two people belonging to two different religions or to the same religion, according to the Special Marriage Act 1954. So, Court marriage means getting married in court which makes the marriage legal.
The interested parties can apply directly to the marriage registrar in order to perform marriage and register marriage and to get a marriage certificate.
Conditions for Court Marriage in India:
There are certain conditions which are to be fulfilled before entering into such a marriage which are mentioned in Chapter II, Section 4 of The Special Marriage Act 1954. They are:
- The parties involved in marriage should not have a living husband or wife. Therefore, any previous marriage should no longer be valid.
- Both the parties should be capable of speaking their mind and entering into a marriage on their own will without any external pressure. It means both the parties should be competent to give valid consent.
- The bride must have completed 18 years of age and the groom 21 years of age.
- Both the parties involved should not be suffering from any kind of mental disorder.
- The parties involved should not be within the degrees of prohibited relationship as provided under Schedule I of given Act. However, if the customs and traditions of the religion of any one of the parties permit so, then it shall be valid.
Documents required for court marriage:
Given below are certain documents which are required for court marriage.
Bride and Groom Documents:
- The Marriage application form duly signed by both bride and bridegroom.
- Receipt of the fee paid with respect to the application form in the District Court.
- Age proof documents of both parties.
- Residential address proof of both the parties (Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Ration Card or Driving License).
- Two passport size photograph of the bride and groom.
- Copy of divorce order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower.
- Affirmation by the parties that they are not related to each other within the degree of prohibited relationship defined in the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Documents of Witnesses:
- One passport size photograph of witness.
- PAN card of the witness.
- Proof of Identification – Driving license, Aadhar Card.
Documents required in case of foreign Nationals:
In case if the marriage is solemnized between an Indian and Foreign National, then the applicant has to submit the following documents in addition to the above-given documents.
- Copy of Passport of with valid Visa of the concerned party.
- Documentary evidence regarding stay in India of one of the parties for more than thirty days (Proof of residence or report from the concerned Station House Officer (SHO).
- NOC or Marital Status certificate from the concerned embassy or Consulate in India by a foreigner partner.
Procedure of Court Marriage:
- Step 1: Notice/Application of intended marriage (Now Optional)
According to section 5 of the special marriage act, a notice has to be issued related to the marriage regarding the provisions. Written notice should be sent to the marriage officer showing the interest of both the parties getting married to each other.
The notice should be sent to the respective office of marriage officer according to the jurisdiction where any of the party to the marriage is residing for a minimum of 30 days before the sending of the notice.
- Step 2: Publication of Notice.
The notice which is sent to the office of the marriage officer will be posted by the marriage officer by putting it in his office, where it is clearly visible for everyone. The original copy of the notice is placed in the notice book.
If the notice sent by the parties doesn’t match the jurisdiction, then the same will be forwarded to the office of the correct jurisdiction where the parties have been residing.
- Step 3: Objection to the Marriage.
According to section 7 of the special marriage act if any person raises objection related to the marriage within the 30 days of publishing of the notice marriage officer will look into the matter. If the marriage officer finds any reasonable justification related to the objection he will stop the marriage procedure or else he will proceed with the marriage. If the objection is sustained by the marriage officer, then an appeal can be filed by the parties in the respective district court against the marriage officer’s order.
- Step 4: Declaration by parties and witnesses.
According to the court-marriages rules the next step is the declaration of the court marriage by the parties and witnesses. Before finalizing the court marriage both the parties and three witnesses should sign the court marriage form stating that the marriage is happening with their free consent. The court marriage declaration form should be signed in the presence of the marriage officer.
Also Read: PROCEDURE FOR DIVORCE BY MUTUAL CONSENT
- Step 5: Place and Form of Solemnization.
According to Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act, court marriage can be solemnized at the office of marriage officer or any other place which is at a reasonable distance. The court marriage can also be solemnized by filling up an online application form for court marriage along with payment of the court marriage fees.
- Step 6: Certificate of Court Marriage.
According to the Schedule IV of Special Marriage Act, when the marriage is solemnized with all the rules and regulations of the court marriage, marriage officer will enter the details in the marriage certificate. The marriage certificate is the evidence of the legal union of both the parties after the signatures of parties and witnesses.
Court Marriage Fees:
The process of Court Marriage’s Cost also varies from State to State and one has to individually look into the fees of the respective place where the marriage is been solemnized.
For example, in Delhi, around 150 rupees is charged if the wedding as per the Special Marriage Act
Work of a Lawyer in a Court marriage:
The role of the lawyer in a marriage, in court, of his clients is as follows:
- The procedure of Court marriage begins with the filling of the notice of marriage. The parties first consult their advocate for filling the notice of the marriage.
- The parties are been advised by the advocate regarding the applicable law, the place of registration where the marriage can be registered. In short, the whole procedure of Marriage in court is explained by an advocate to the parties.
- An advocate ensures that both the bride and groom have attained the legal age of marriage and if all the conditions required for the court marriage are fulfilled.
- An advocate prepares all the documents which are required in the process of registration of marriage in the Court.
- An advocate will set up a convenient time for the bride and groom and witnesses to meet at the registrar’s office to conduct a check of all documents.
- An advocate on behalf of the parties can make arguments in case of further claims and deliberations raised.
Court marriages in India are performed under the Special Marriage Act 1954. The Special Marriage Act enables persons of different religions to enter into a valid marriage.
This Act applies to inter-religion as well as inter-caste marriages. Also, with the help of this Act, a marriage can take place between the Indian National in foreign countries.
Any chance of falseness in the consent or behaviour can be easily caught out in the case of court marriage. Once a couple is married under this Act the marriage is governed not only by the couple’s personal religious laws but also by the laws mentioned in the Special Marriage Act 1954.