Solemnization of Court Marriages in India takes place under the Special Marriage
Act of 1954. There is no discrimination between people of different caste,
religion or creed. Inter-caste and inter-religion marriages could also be
performed through Court-Marriages. Parties can directly apply to the Marriage
Registrar Officer for performing and registering the marriage without having to
follow any traditional ceremonies and rituals of marriages.
- Neither party should have an existing spouse through a valid marriage at
- The age of the bride should be at least 18 years and that of the groom,
at least 21 years.
- Neither party should be incapable of giving free and valid consent at
the time of the marriage.
- Neither party should be suffering from recurrent attacks of epilepsy or
- Parties should not be within the degrees of the prohibited relationship
as defined in Schedule I of the Special Marriage Act. An exception is made
where the customs governing the parties permit such solemnization.
X and Y solemnized a court marriage in spite of being related to each other
within the degrees of prohibited relationships. What is the status of such a
Answer: The marriage between X and Y shall be null and void, and be so declared
on the application of either of the parties.
- Documents required for court marriage
- An application form, duly signed by both the parties to the marriage.
- Documentary proof of date of birth of both the parties.
- Proof of residential address of both the parties
- 2 passport size photos of both the parties.
- Receipt of fees paid for the application form in the District Court.
- Copy of Death Certificate in case of widow or widower. In case of a
divorcee, a copy of Decree of Divorce.
- Duly signed separate affidavits from bride and groom.
- Stating the date of birth, present marital status.
- A statement that they do not fall within the degrees of prohibited
- Residential proof of three witnesses.
- The procedure of the Court Marriage summed up in the following steps:
- Notice of Marriage
The parties are required to give notice of the intended marriage, to the
Marriage Registrar Officer of the district, in which at least one of the parties
has resided for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date
on which the notice is filed. The notice has to be filed in the form prescribed
in Schedule II of the Special Marriage Act.
- Publishing the Notice
The marriage officer shall publish the notice then put it up in an observable
place in his office and wait for 30 days for any possible objection. In case
there are no objections, the marriage officer can perform the marriage.
- Objection to the Marriage
In case any person raises an objection within these 30 days, the marriage
officer shall enquire into the matter within 30 days of receiving it. The
objection must be on a legal basis and not on a personal basis. The marriage
must be solemnized if the objection does not impede the solemnization of the
- Day of Marriage
Declaration of the parties and the witnesses are required in the form specified
in Schedule III of the Act, in the presence of the Marriage Officer. The
marriage is to be solemnized in the specified marriage office.
- Certificate of Marriage
After all the above procedures are complete, the marriage certificate will be
given to the couple by the marriage officer. This Certificate has to be signed
by the parties as well as the witnesses.
X and Y decide to get married against the will of their respective parents. The
register for a court marriage by giving notice to the marriage officer. The
marriage officer puts up the notice in his office for 30 days. Is he liable to
send the notice to the parents of the parties?
Answer: No, the Marriage officer is only supposed to publish the notice in a
prominent place in his office and need not send it to anyone in person.
- The Fees for solemnizing Court Marriage
Generally, the application fee under the Special Marriage Act is Rs. 150 and
along with it, the parties may also have to pay administrative charges. However,
every state has the liberty to frame certain rules of their own. Thus, the fee
structure varies from state to state.
In the year 2006, the Supreme Court made the registration of marriage
compulsory. Registration of marriage is necessary to obtain the Marriage
Certificate. This certificate is of vital importance as it serves as an official
testimony declaring the concerned parties married. Thus, it could be said the
marriage certificate is important to legalize a marriage.
It requires the same eligibility as to that for the Court Marriage.
- Documents required
All the documents remain the same as that required in the Court Marriage,
however, here, the proof of the marriage is required to be furnished.
Example: Wedding Invitation, Temple marriage receipt, etc.
- The procedure of Registration of Marriage
- Once the marriage is solemnized as per the rites and rituals of the
parties, they may apply to the Marriage Registrar Officer of the district
where either of the parties resides or where the marriage took place.
- The registration of the marriage shall be within 1 month from the date
of the marriage.
- Verification of all the documents is done on the date of the application
and after which a date will be communicated to the parties for registration.
- On such a date, the parties along with the Gazetted Officer who solemnized
the marriage, have to be present before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
- Upon the completion of the procedure, the Marriage Certificate will be
granted to the party.
- The cost incurred for Registration
Again, the costs vary from one state to another but generally, the basic cost of
registration is between Rs. 100-200.
Court Marriages take place in a legal set-up before the marriage officer. Also,
here, registration of the court marriage for obtaining a Marriage Certificate is
not altogether a separate procedure. On the other hand, when a marriage is
solemnized by following the traditional rituals and customs the process of
registration of the marriage is to be followed for obtaining a Marriage