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Marriage Registration In India

  • The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill was introduced in 1969, to include registration of marriages but it did not cover all citizens.
  • The National Commission for Women had offered a concrete solution to a number of problems arising out of non-registrations of marriages by drafting a Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill in 2005
  • Provision for marriage registration exists under various laws- such as The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Special Marriage Act, 1954, Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, and Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955:

  • It deals with marriage registration in case both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or, where they have converted into any of these religions.
  • Hindu Marriage Act deals with only marriage registration that has already been solemnized and does not provide for solemnisation of a marriage by a Marriage Registrar.
  • The non-registration of a marriage does not invalidate it under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954:

  • The Act lays down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage, where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.
  • As per this act, no religious ceremonies are prerequisite for a marriage to be complete.

Other legislations:

  • Certain other legislations are enacted to govern the process of marriage solemnization and marriage registration between some minority religions in India which are not governed by the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act
  • Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872
  • It provides for solemnization of marriage either by a minister or by a priest of the church.
  • It makes Marriage registration compulsory
  • Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • Marriage under Parsi Marriage Act can be registered in the Office of the District Registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage takes place.
  • The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, make the registration compulsory.

Sikh Marriages

  • The Indian Parliament passed a law in 2012, allowing Sikhs to register their marriage under the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2012
  • The Anand Marriage Law was enacted in 1909, however, there was no provision for registration of marriages and they were registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Marriage between Indian and a Foreigner

  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is applicable where an Indian and a foreigner intent to marry in India.
  • When an Indian intends to marry in any other country, the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 is applicable
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