What Is The Procedure Of Court Marriage In India?

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What is meant by Court Marriage?

In India, Court marriages are different from the traditional marriages. Court marriages take place in the court in the presence of the marriage officer. No kind of traditions is followed that is practiced during a traditional wedding. In the court marriage, two persons who are eligible to get married can marry each other in the presence of three witnesses. There is no need of customary celebration to solemnize the wedding. Court marriage is valid in front of marriage officer and witnesses. Court marriage should satisfy the requisites of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Through court marriage, two persons of the different gender who belongs to the same religion or different religion can marry each other. In the court marriage, it is not necessary that both the persons are Indian nationals. They can also marry if one of the party is a foreign national.

Rules and Regulations of a Court Marriage in India:

According to the section 4 of the special marriage act,1954 some rules and regulations need to be followed before getting a court marriage. They are:
1. There should be no pre-existing marriage for any of the party. The only exception is, the previous spouse is not alive, or divorce has been obtained from them.
2. Free consent for the court marriage should be given by both the parties. Consent should not be taken when the person is insane and of unsound mind etc.
3. Both the parties should have marriageable age to get a court marriage. The boy should be 21 years old, and the girl should be 18 years old.
4. Both the parties to the court marriage should not be related to each other under the forbidden degrees of marriage. Marriage will only be solemnized if one of the parties customs allows it.

The Procedure of Court Marriage:

The court marriage procedure can be roughly divided into six steps according to chapter II of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
1. Notice Regarding Marriage: According to the section 5 of the special marriage act, a notice has to be issued related to the marriage regarding the provisions. A written notice should be sent to the marriage officer showing the interest of both the parties getting married to each other. The notice should be sent to the respective office of marriage officer according to the jurisdiction where any of the party to court marriage is residing for a minimum of 30 days before the sending of the notice.
2. Publishing the Notice: The notice which is sent to the office of the marriage officer will be posted by the marriage officer by putting it in his office where it is clearly visible for everyone. The original copy of the notice is placed in the notice book.
If the notice sent by the parties doesn’t match the jurisdiction, then the same will be forwarded to the office of the correct jurisdiction where the parties have been residing.
3. Objection to Marriage: According to the section 7 of the special marriage act if any person raises objection related to the marriage within the 30 days of publishment of the notice marriage officer will look into the matter. If the marriage officer finds any reasonable justification related to the objection he will stop the marriage procedure or else he will proceed with the marriage. If the objection is sustained by the marriage officer, then an appeal can be filed by the parties in the respective district court against the marriage officer’s order.
4. Declaration by Parties and Witnesses: According to the court marriage rules the next step is the declaration of the court marriage by the parties and witnesses. Before finalizing the court marriage both the parties and three witnesses should sign the court marriage form stating that the marriage is happening with their free consent. The court marriage declaration form should be signed in the presence of the marriage officer.
5. Solemnization: According to the Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act, court marriage can be solemnized at the office of marriage officer or any other place which is at a reasonable distance. The court marriage can also be solemnized by filling up an online application form for court marriage along with payment of the court marriage fees.
6. Certificate of Court Marriage: According to the Schedule IV of Special Marriage Act, when the marriage is solemnized with all the rules and regulations of the court marriage, marriage officer will enter the details in the marriage certificate. The court marriage certificate is the evidence of the legal union of both the parties after the signatures of parties and witnesses.

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