Special Marriage Act
The Special Marriage Act was enacted to provide a special form of marriage for any person in India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries irrespective of the religion or faith followed by either party to the marriage. The parties may observe any ceremonies for the solemnization of their marriage but certain formalities are prescribed before the marriage officer can register the marriage. For the good of the Indian citizens abroad, the act 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 is applicable throughout the country except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Conditions for the Special Marriage Act are as follows:
The Act states that a marriage between two persons can be legalized, if the following conditions are satisfied at the time of marriage:
- Neither of the two parties has a spouse living at the time of marriage.
- Neither of the two is incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind.
- Neither of the party has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriages and the procreation of children.
- Neither party has been subject to recurrent attacks of epilepsy or insanity.
- At the time of marriage the groom should be of 21 years of age and the bride should be of 18 years of age.
- Both the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship; provided that where a custom governing at least one of the parties permits of a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized, notwithstanding that they are within the degrees of prohibited relationship,
- Where the marriage is solemnized in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both parties are citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends.