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Procedure for Court Marriages in India

Published on 18 Jan 2017 by Team

After the enactment of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, court marriage has become a common procedure across India. The act provides for marriage between parties belonging to different religions. Even people from same religion may choose a court marriage over rituals and ceremonies. Hence, it is important that everyone knows how to go about it!

Steps for Court Marriage in India

Step 1: Notice of Intended Marriage

The first step in court marriage registration in India is the parties must give information regarding their intention to the marriage officer of the district. The condition necessary for this step is that at least one party must have stayed for 30 days immediately before the date when the notice is served. For example, if the parties reside in Delhi, but they wish to marry in Goa. At least one of them must travel to Goa 30 days before the intended date and live there until the date of the marriage.

The notice must be as per the format provided in Schedule II of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 with documents attached as proof of age and residence.

Step 2: Publication of Notice

The marriage officer of the district publishes the notice given to him by the parties.

Step 3: Objections to Marriage

Any person can raise objections to the marriage based on the grounds listed in Chapter II, Section 4 of the Act. The objection is raised to the marriage officer of the concerned district. In most cases, the marriage officer would need to examine the objection. The marriage officer must, within 30 days from the date of objection, make inquiries and if the objections are found to be true, the marriage cannot be solemnized.

In case the objections have been accepted, an appeal can be filed within 30 days of the refusal to solemnize marriage, in the district court within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the marriage officer, by either party.

Step 4: Signing of the Declaration

Both the parties and three witnesses have to sign the declaration in the presence of the marriage officer. It also has to be countersigned by the marriage officer. The content and format of the declaration are provided in Schedule III of the act.

Step 5: Place of Marriage

Place of marriage can either be the office of the marriage officer or any other place within a reasonable distance from the office.

Step 6: Certificate of Marriage

A marriage certificate is to be made as per the format is given in Schedule IV of the act in the marriage certificate book. If the certificate is signed by parties and three witnesses, such a certificate becomes conclusive evidence of the court marriage.

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