10 Things should know about the Special Marriage Act,1954 – The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an important piece of legislation in India that governs the marriage of individuals from different religions, castes, or backgrounds. Here are 10 key things every Indian should know about the act:
10 Things should know about the Special Marriage Act,1954
Scope and Purpose: The Special Marriage Act is designed to provide a legal framework for inter-religious and inter-caste marriages in India. It allows couples from different backgrounds to marry without being bound by the rituals and customs of their respective religions.
Applicability: The act applies to the entire territory of India. It allows any two individuals, regardless of their religion, caste, or nationality, to marry under its provisions.
Notice of Intended Marriage: Before getting married under the Special Marriage Act, the couple needs to give a notice of their intended marriage to the marriage officer of their district. This notice is then displayed publicly to allow objections, if any.
Objections and Inquiry: If there are any objections to the marriage, the marriage officer conducts an inquiry to determine the validity of the objections. If the officer finds no lawful impediment, the marriage can proceed.
Waiting Period: After the notice of intended marriage has been displayed, there is a 30-day waiting period during which the marriage cannot take place. This waiting period is intended to give time for objections and inquiries.
Conditions for Marriage: Both parties must be of legal marriageable age (18 years for the bride and 21 years for the groom). They must also give their free and informed consent for the marriage.
Witnesses and Solemnization: The marriage must be solemnized in the presence of a marriage officer and three witnesses. The marriage officer then issues a certificate of marriage, which is conclusive proof of the marriage.
Registration: Unlike traditional religious marriages, marriages under the Special Marriage Act require mandatory registration. The marriage certificate issued by the marriage officer serves as proof of the marriage and its legality.
Succession and Inheritance: Marriages under this act are considered civil marriages, and the couple is governed by the Indian Succession Act for matters of inheritance, as opposed to personal religious laws. However, in cases where the individuals involved in the marriage follow the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Jain faiths, the rules for inheriting their property will be governed by the Hindu Succession Act.
Divorce and Dissolution: Couples married under the Special Marriage Act are subject to the same laws regarding divorce and dissolution as those under other civil marriage laws in India. They can seek divorce through the Family Courts or appropriate legal channels.
It’s important to note that laws and regulations might change over time, so it’s recommended to consult with legal professionals or official sources for the most up-to-date information and advice related to the Special Marriage Act, 1954.