A marriage which has solemnised can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Where the parties, i.e. husband and wife, are Hindus, Buddhists, Jain or Sikhs or whether they get converted into any of these religions, the Hindu Marriage Act is applicable. And if either of the parties or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jain or Sikhs the marriage is said to register under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Documents required for registration are as follows:
- The application form signed by both husband and wife.
- The document which specifies the date of birth of parties (Passport, Birth Certificate.)
- Address proof of husband and wife both. (Adhar Card is necessary for registration.)
- An affidavit from both the parties mentioning place and date of marriage, birth date, marital status at the time of marriage, nationality. The Affidavit should say that the parties aren't related to each other within the prohibited degree of relationship as per the Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act as the case may be.
- Passport Size photo of husband and wife and one marriage photo.
- Invitation card of Marriage, if available.
- The conversion certificate from the priest who solemnised the marriage ( in case of Hindu Marriage Act) if the parties belong to other than Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religions.
- Photograph and PAN card copy of two witnesses.
A Gazetted Officer should attest all documents. Registration of marriage under the Special Marriage Act, the presence of both the parties is required after the documents are submitted regarding the issuance of a notice of intended marriage.
Copy of notice is posted on the notice board by the SDM at their office. Any person, within 30 days of issuance of the notice, can file an objection to the intended marriages. If no objection is received, the SDM solemnises the marriage after 30 days of the notice.
If in any case, SDM refuses to solemnise the intended marriage, either of the parties can file an appeal to the District Court within 30 days. Witnesses, along with both parties (who had attested the marriage) are required to be present on the date of registration of marriage.
The Special Marriage Act deals with both the registrations as well as the solemnization of marriage. Conditions for valid marriage have been laid down under Sec. 4 of the Special Marriage Act, which is similar to those under Sec. 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954.
The Special Marriage Act lays down the following conditions for a marriage to be regarded as a lawful one, having legal standing, by Sec. 4:
- No party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage
- The physical and mental capacity of both parties must be as per the provisions.
- The female must complete the age of eighteen, and the male has to complete the age of twenty-one.
- The parties should not be within the prohibited degrees of relationship provided that custom permits such a marriage between them.