In India, a court marriage refers to a marriage solemnized under the Special Marriage Act of 1954. This Act allows couples of any caste, religion, or nationality to getting married in the presence of a marriage officer and three witnesses. Typically, the marriage officer is a sub-registrar appointed under the Act.
Unlike traditional marriages, court marriages in India are conducted within the court premises. No traditional practices or rituals are followed during the marriage ceremony. Instead, two eligible individuals can get married in the presence of three witnesses. There is no need for any customary celebrations to solemnize the wedding, as the court marriage is considered valid by the marriage officer and witnesses.
Eligibility for court marriage In India
- They should not have lived as husband and wife before the marriage ceremony.
- The bride must be at least 18 years old, and the groom must be at least 21 years old.
- Both parties should be able to give valid consent at the time of the marriage ceremony.
- Neither party should suffer from any kind of insanity or mental disorder.
- The parties should not be within the degree of a prohibited relationship. However, in some cases, court marriage may be allowed within a prohibited relationship if it is allowed by their customs.
Documents needed for court marriage In India
If you are applying for court marriage in India, you will need to submit the following documents:
- Separate affidavits from both the bride and groom with the following details:
- Date of birth
- Marital status (widowed, unmarried, or divorced)
- Affirmation certificate that the couple are not related to each other in any prohibited degree of relationship
- Passport-sized photographs of the bride and groom
- Proof of residence for both the bride and groom
- Proof of date of birth for both the bride and groom
- Copy of the notice of intended marriage of couple with their sign
- Copy of divorce order if they are divorced or death certificate of a spouse (in the case of a widow/widower
- For the witnesses, the following documents are required.
- Passport-sized photographs
- Copy of PAN card
- Copy of identity proof
3. If an Indian citizen is marrying a foreign national in a court marriage, the following additional documents must be submitted along with the ones mentioned earlier:
- A copy of the foreign national’s passport with a valid visa
- Proof that one of the parties has been staying in India for more than thirty days, such as proof of residence or a report from the Station House Officer (SHO)
- A No Objection Certificate (NOC) or Marital Status Certificate from the concerned embassy or consulate in India for the foreign partner.
Process for Court Marriage in India
1 – Notice of Marriage
To start the process of court marriage in India, the bride and groom must fill out a court marriage application form, also known as a notice of intended marriage. This notice should be submitted to the marriage officer no less than 30 days before the intended marriage date. The notice should be given to the marriage officer in the area where either the bride or groom has lived for 30 days or more.
2 – Publication of the Notice
Once the notice of intended marriage is submitted, the marriage officer will publish it by affixing it in a prominent place within their office. This publication is intended to allow any person to object to the marriage if they have grounds to do so. If no objection is raised within 30 days of the notice being published, then after 30 days, the marriage officer will proceed with the marriage.
3 – Objection to Marriage, If Any
If anyone objects to the court marriage within 30 days of the notice being published, they can submit an objection to the marriage officer. This objection must be based on legal grounds and cannot be personal. The marriage officer will investigate the objection within 30 days of receiving it. If the objection is dismissed, the marriage can proceed.
4 – Declaration by Parties and Witnesses
If there are no objections or the objections are dismissed, the parties to the marriage must appear before the marriage officer and submit a declaration. The declaration certificate must be signed by both parties and three witnesses and submitted in the presence of the marriage officer. The marriage officer will also countersign the declaration.
5 – Place of Marriage office
The marriage can take anywhere at the office of the marriage officer or at another location agreed upon by the parties. If the marriage is held at a location other than the marriage officer’s office, additional fees may apply. The parties can choose the form in which they wish to solemnize their marriage.
6 – Certificate of Marriage
After the marriage is solemnized, the marriage officer will issue a marriage certificate. This certificate needed to be signed by both parties and three witnesses. The marriage certificate is considered conclusive evidence of the marriage and the marriage officer will enter all the required details of the marriage in the marriage certificate book.
Advantages of Court Marriage
- Court marriage is an economical option with a straightforward procedure.
- It saves the significant expenses of traditional wedding rituals and ceremonies.
- The parties involved can solemnize the marriage in whatever way they prefer.
- Court marriage ensures that both parties have given their consent to the union.
The fee for court marriage varies from state to state in India. Typically, the court marriage procedure fee falls between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000. It’s important to check the fees when submitting the court marriage application form.
Disclaimer: The materials provided here are solely for information purposes not for anything else. No attorney-client relationship is created in this when you use the site or the article. The information presented here on this site does not constitute legal or any professional advice and also should not be used as a substitute for legal advice in your state.
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