Court marriages are solemnized under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Court marriage can be performed between an Indian male and a female irrespective of their caste, religion or creed. It can also be solemnized between an Indian and a foreigner. The procedure of the Court marriages does away with the rituals and ceremonies of the traditional marriages. The parties can directly apply to the Marriage Registrar for performance & registration of marriage and grant of marriage certificate.

Eligibility condition for court marriage

  • There should not be subsisting valid marriage of either of the parties with any other person.
  • The bridegroom should be of twenty-one (21) years and bride should be of eighteen (18) years of age.
  • The parties should not be of unsoundness of mind of such a nature as to be unable to give valid consent for the marriage, or 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.
  • The parties should not fall within the degree of prohibited relationship.

Exceptions to the eligibility conditions for court marriage

  • Even if couple is within degrees of prohibited relationship, they can get married if their custom allows them to do so.
  • This exception will apply even when the customs of only one of the parties allow such marriage.
  • Other exception is the citizenship rule for court marriages in Jammu & Kashmir. If the marriage is taking place in the state of J & K, then both parties must be citizens of India. Moreover, both parties should have domicile in a state to which this act applies. This means that foreign nationals cannot get married in Jammu & Kashmir under this Act.
  • There is another condition for foreigners. They must live in India for at least 30 days before the marriage. They can get a proof of residence from their local police station.

Court marriage/ Register  Marriage procedure

  • The parties have to file a Notice of Intended Marriage in the specified form to the Marriage Registrar 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 is given.
  • The notice is then published/put-up by the Registrar of Marriage inviting objections, if any.
  • After the expiration 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.
  • The marriage may be solemnized at the specified Marriage Office.
  • Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration/Solemnization.

Documents required for court marriage

  • 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 decrees whichever is applicable, in case one of the parties had any marriages in the past.

Court marriage of an Indian and a foreign national

A marriage between parties one of whom at least is a citizen of India may be solemnized under Special Marriage Act, in India before a Marriage Registrar in India or a Marriage Officer in a foreign country.

Eligibility criteria

  • At least one of the parties should be an Indian citizen.
  • The bride groom must be 21 years of age; the bride must be 18 years of age.
  • Neither party has a spouse living,
  • Neither party is an idiot or a lunatic,
  • The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship
  • Each party involved should not have any other subsisting valid marriage.

Documents required :

  • 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 Marital Status certificate from the concerned embassy or Consulate in India by a foreigner partner.
  • Death certificate or divorce decrees whichever is applicable, in case one of the parties had any marriages in the past.

Procedure:

  • 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 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given, and the notice shall state that the party has so resided.
  • All the documents are verified at the Office of Marriage Registrar.
  • The law of other nation shall not be in conflict with Indian laws.
  • The notice is then published inviting objection to the marriage, if any.
  • If no objection is made, then, on the expiry of the notice publishing period, the marriage may be solemnized.
  • The marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of at least three witnesses.
  • Further the Marriage Certificate is entered and is granted by the Marriage Registrar.

Degree of prohibited relationship

Degree of prohibited relationship  : Part-I

1. Mother
2. Father’s widow (step-mother)
3. Mother’s mother
4. Mother’s father’s widow (step grand-mother)
5. Mother’s mother’s mother
6. Mother’s mother’s father’s widow (step-great-grandmother)
7. Mother’s father’s mother
8. Mother’s father’s father’s widow (step-great-grandmother)
9. Father’s mother
10. Father’s father’s widow (step-grandmother)
11. Father’s mother’s mother
12. Father’s mother’s father’s widow (step-great-grandmother)
13. Father’s father’s mother
14. Father’s father’s father’s widow (step-great-grandmother)
15. Daughter
16. Son’s widow
17. Daughter’s daughter
18. Daughter’s son’s widow
19. Son’s daughter
20. Son’s son’s widow
21. Daughter’s daughter’s daughter
22. Daughter’s daughter’s son’s widow
23. Daughter’s son’s daughter
24. Daughter’s son’s son’s widow
25. Son’s daughter’s daughter
26. Son’s daughter’s son’s widow
27. Son’s son’s daughter
28. Son’s son’s son’s widow
29. Sister
30. Sister’s daughter
31. Brother’s daughter
32. Mother’s sister
33.Father’s sister
34. Father’s brother’s daughter
35. Father’s sister’s daughter
36. Mother’s sister’s-daughter
37. Mother’s brother’s daughter

Here, the word widow also means a divorced wife.

Degree of prohibited relationship: Part-II

1. Father
2. Mother’s husband (step-father)
3. Father’s father
4. Father’s mother’s husband (step-grandmother)
5. Father’s father’s father
6. Father’s father’s mother’s husband (step-great-grandfather)
7. Father’s mother’s father
8. Father’s mother’s mother’s husband (step-great-grandfather)
9. Mother’s father
10. Mother’s mother’s husband (step-grandfather)
11. Mother’s father’s father
12. Mother’s father’s mother’s husband (step-great-grandfather)
13. Mother’s mother’s father
14. Mother’s mother’s mother’s husband(step-great-grandfather)
15. Son
16. Daughter’s husband
17. Son’s son
18. Son’s daughter’s husband
19. Daughter’s son
20. Daughter’s daughter’s husband
21. Son’s son’s son
22. Son’s son’s daughter’s husband
23. Son’s daughter’s son
24. Son’s daughter’s daughter’s husband
25. Daughter’s son’s son
26. Daughter’s son’s daughter’s husband
27. Daughter’s daughter’s son
28. Daughter’s daughter’s daughter’s husband
29. Brother
30. Brother’s son
31. Sister’s son
32. Mother’s brother
33. Father’s brother
34. Father’s brother’s son
35. Father’s sister’s son
36. Mother’s sister’s son
37. Mother’s brother’s son

Here, the word husband also means a divorced husband.