Marriage Certificate is a very important legal document and must not be neglected by any responsible married couple, residing within the territory of India and being governed by the laws of the land. Legal service providers assist the couples in what might seem to be a taxing task, in that, they offer services and guide the couple through the entire process of procuring the marriage certificate. You can now get a marriage certificate by MyAdvo by simply applying online.
Nonetheless, the best way to comprehensively understand the process for procuring any legal document is by first getting a stronghold of the laws relating to that subject matter. Therefore, this blog seeks to highlight the salient features of five of the most common and predominant marriage registration laws in India. The various laws are classified on the basis of the communities to which they are applicable. In India, different personal laws are applicable to people belonging to different religions. Provided below, is a brief description of marriage registration-related provisions in major personal laws applicable in India.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1995 provides for registration of marriages between two Hindus. The term, “Hindus”, in the context of this Act includes also Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains. The above-mentioned section authorizes the State Government to make rules with regard to registration of marriages solemnized between two Hindus. In 2006, the Supreme Court, in the landmark judgment of Seema v. Ashwani Kumar, held that regardless of the State under whose jurisdiction the couple resides, every Hindu couple must mandatorily get their marriages registered, notwithstanding, any State laws or rules to the contrary. However, the provision also mentions that merely because the couple lacks such a certificate, that fact alone shall not render the marriage between the couple invalid.
The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
Section 6 of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, which, as the name suggests, governs the marriages between two people belonging to the Parsi community, provides that, the priest who has conducted the marriage, shall, immediately upon solemnization of the marriage, issue a certificate to the marriage, stating the factum of marriage. Such a certificate is required to be signed by the priest as well as both the parties to the marriage. Also, two witnesses who were privy to the marriage ceremony must also testify the certificate by affixing their signatures to the same. Furthermore, the husband is required to forward this certificate along with a filing fee of INR 200, to the local Marriage Registrar, who shall then make an entry in the relevant register which is usually maintained for the purpose of recording details of marriages happening with the local limits of a municipal corporation.
The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872
Part IV, that is Sections 27 to 37 of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, provides for registration of marriages between two Christians if the marriage is solemnized in India.
Special Marriage Act, 1954
This is special legislation which deals with marriage registration between people belonging to two different religions. Section 15 of the Act provides certain prerequisite conditions for registration of marriage under the Act. Some of these conditions include sanity of both the parties, legal competence of both the parties with respect to marriageable ages, monogamy, etc.
Section 16 provides for the procedure for registration. Upon receiving duly signed application from the parties, or registration of marriages, the Marriage officer is required to issue a public declaration, notifying the public of the same. If no objections are raised from any member of the public within a period of thirty days, the Marriage Officer may issue a Marriage Certificate to the couple and also record the details of the registration of their marriage in the Marriage Certificate Book.
Section 17 also provides for the alternative of appeal from any order rendered under Section 16 of the Act, if any person is not satisfied with the same.
Muslim Marriage Act, 1981
Section 12 of the Muslim Marriage Act, 1981 provides that the Registrar General of Marriages shall maintain a “Muslim Marriage Register Book”, which shall contain the record of Muslim Marriages registered with them. A duty is also imposed on the Registrar, to send to the concerned copies, a copy of the marriage registration in the prescribed format, provided, the parties have paid the prescribed fee.
Section 13, provides the effect of such registration. Apart from other effects, the section provides that marriage registration under the Act shall have an important implication for all the children born through that marriage, in that, they shall be considered legitimate children for the purpose of inheritance of property, regardless of whether the marriage of the couple was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Act.