OVERVIEW ON SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1954

Marriages in India can be registered under t Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. It is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the rights of both the husband and wife are protected. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India which deals with inter-caste and inter-religion marriages. It involves unique form of marriage wherein the parties to the marriage do not have to renounce their religion. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

A marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 allows people from two different religious groups to solemnize marriage. The Hindu Marriage Act only applies to the Hindus, whereas the Special Marriage Act extends to all Indian citizens. It lays down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage. According to this Act, the couples have to issue a public notice with the relevant documents to the Marriage Officer 30 days before the intended date of the marriage. However, the process of registration  can be completed online also, but the parties need to report to the marriage officer for solemnization of marriage.

REGISTRATION:

Both the parties are required to be present after the submission of documents for issuance of public notice inviting objections. One copy of the notice is posted on the notice board of the office and a copy of the notice and is sent by registered post to both parties as per the given address. Registration is done 30 days after the date of notice after deciding any objection that may have been received during that period by the SDM. Three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration along with the parties. Parties to the marriage must apply to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction the marriage is solemnized or to the Registrar in whose jurisdiction either party to the marriage has resided for at least six months immediately before the date of marriage. Both parties must appear with their parents or guardians or other witnesses before the Registrar within one month from the date of marriage.

CONDITIONS FOR MARRIAGE:

  • The bridegroom must be at least 21 and the bride must be at least 18 years of age at the time of marriage.
  • At the time of their marriage, both parties must be monogamous; i.e., they must be unmarried and at that commencement of the marriage no party should not have any living spouse. 
  • The parties should be mentally fit to give their free consent at the time of marriage.
  • The parties should not be related to blood relationships. They should not be subjected to prohibited relationships.

SUCCESSION TO THE PROPERTY:

Succession to the property of person married under this Act or customary marriage registered under this Act and that of their children, are governed by Indian Succession Act. However, if the parties to the marriages are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion, the succession to their property will be governed by the Hindu Succession Act. Generally, in India marriages are enlisted under The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under The Special Marriage Act, 1954.

CONCLUSION:

Marriage is an important decision of the life of an individual. To live with a person for the rest of the life sometimes becomes difficult which results into divorces and judicial separation. No one should interfere in the exercise of one’s life partner. Article 14, 19 and 21 have been considered as the golden triangle of Indian Constitution. Violation of these rights wouldn’t be entertained. Certain provisions of The Special Marriage Act, 1954 clearly violate this golden triangle. The provisions of the said Acts have proved to be inadequate and inconsistent to deal with some issues. It is the duty of the judiciary to amend such provisions to protect the citizens from violation of their rights.

REFERENCES:

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