(Last Updated on : 09/12/2008)
India is a multi-ethnic country and has initiated many personal laws of its citizen. As the result of marriage laws in India, each citizen of the country is entitled to have his own personal law in the matter of marriage and divorce. The Indian marriage acts safeguard the personal rights of marriage and divorce of the citizens. Hence, there are various rules and regulations for different religions.
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 while marriage, governs Hindus and divorce amongst Muslim takes place under the Muslim Marriage Act. Christians and Parsees strictly follow Christian Marriage Act and Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act respectively. Besides, people can also believe in marrying under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Persons of any religion can get married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are governed by the other mentioned acts. Those who get married under a civil marriage or no formal marriage ceremony usually opt for their registration under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
An NRI, a PIO or a Foreigner including the Americans, Canadians, British, and others can marry in India has the choices like Religious Marriage Ceremony or Civil Marriage Ceremony. The religious marriage ceremonies in India are considered to be legal marriages. In India, a religious marriage ceremony is. However registration of marriage is now a legal requirement in most of the states in India. Moreover, for visa and immigration purposes a formal marriage certificate from the Registrar of Marriages is required. There are different rules and regulations for different religions. For example there are Hindu Marriage Act, Muslim Marriage Act, and Christian Marriage Act and for the Parsee there is Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act.
Hindu Marriage Act
The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 is relevant to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. A religious marriage, which has already been solemnized, can be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Hindu Marriage Act is appropriate in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs or Buddhists or in case they have transformed into any of these religions. The Hindu Marriage Act offers for the conditions of a marriage where under the bridegroom should be the age of 21 years and bride of 18 years; they both should not be within the extent of prohibited relationship.
Most of the Indians are unaware of the laws associated with Indian marriages. Although marriage is a social event, one thing should be remembered that it is necessary to register all marriages as every religion has its own personal law to oversee marriages. The Hindu Marriage Act came into power on18 May 1955. This marriage act governs all the Hindu marriages. The Hindu Marriage Act teamed with the Marriage Laws in India brought about important changes in the law on this subject prevailing earlier.
The Special Marriage Act was endorsed to provide a special form of marriage for any individual in India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries without discriminating their the religion or faith pursued by either party to the marriage. The parties may survey any ceremonies for the solemnization of their marriage but some particular formalities are approved before the marriage officer and he can register the marriage. For the provision of the Indian citizens abroad, the act provides for the engagement of diplomatic and consular officers. The marriage officers solemnize and register marriages between citizens of India in a distant country. The Act is pertinent throughout the country except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian Majority Act, 1875 do not govern the Muslim marriage but the Muslim law itself controls it. According to Muslim Marriage Act, Marriage or `Nikah` as the Muslims call the nuptial ceremony is an agreement underlying a permanent relationship based on mutual approval.
Special Marriage Act
Marriage Laws in India
Muslim Marriage Act
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