Registration of a Hindu Marriage: concept, procedure, and consequences
Purpose of Marriage Certificate
In 2006, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India made it mandatory to register all marriages. In India to get married the eligible age for males is 21 years and 18 years for females, the process of registering the marriage is applicable only for the mentioned age for both men and women. The aim of compulsory registration of marriages with the local authorities a legal status is given to the wedlock, further strengthen the institution of marriages, and be the conclusive proof of the evidence of marriage. Remarriages are also included in marriages.
A marriage certificate is an official statement that establishes the marital status of a couple. A marriage certificate acts as a legal proof of registration of a marriage, an important document on which one can rely to prove that the parties are legally married to each other. The marriage certificate could be used for other purposes also like obtaining a passport, applying for an income certificate, changing one’s middle name, etc.
Registration under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
The act is applicable in situations wherein both husband and wife are Hindu, Buddhists, Jains, or Sikhs or they both have converted their religion into any of these religions. There are certain conditions that are required to be fulfilled as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 after which the marriage between the parties will be considered legal and valid. Sec.5 and Sec. 7 of the Act specifies these conditions.
- Section 5 of the act states that both the parties must be Hindus then only the marriage will be considered as a valid marriage.
- Section 7 of the act that Hindu marriage would be solemnized by following the customary rites and ceremonies of either of the parties.
The primary step to register the marriage is to apply to the sub-registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage has been solemnized, or either party to the marriage has been residing. Afterward, both the partners are required to fill an Application form, sign it, and submit the same along with two photographs of the invitation card of the marriage, marriage ceremonies, address and age proof of both the parties, affidavit of Notary/ Executive Magistrate to prove that the couple is married as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, a proof that the marriage has not taken place within the degree of prohibitory relationship and their mental condition is fine.
The mentioned documents should be attested by a Gazetted Officer, and the parties shall have to deposit a fee with the cashier at the sub-registrar and do attach the receipt along with the Application Form. When the application form is submitted and the documents submitted are verified, the concerned officer will assign a date of registration when the marriage certificate will be issued.
Solemnization of Hindu Marriage
- Neither of the party should have a spouse living at the time of marriage.
- Neither party is incapable of giving valid consent, in the consequence of unsoundness of mind, or unfit for procreation of children, and is suffering from any other mental disorder.
- Both the parties to the marriage must have attained the eligible age of marriage.
- The parties shouldn’t be within the degree of prohibited relationship (unless the customs and usage permit the marriage).
- The parties aren’t the lineal ascendant of the other (unless the customs and usage permit the marriage).
A Hindu marriage could also be solemnized under the ceremonies of either party or customary rites – when the bride and the groom take seven steps jointly around the holy fire, called Saptpadi, the marriage becomes complete and binding as soon the seventh step is taken. The ceremonies may vary according to the customs and traditions followed by the parties.
Registration in case of a Court Marriage
- An Affidavit should be attested by the Magistrate/SDM or a Notary Public along with Register Entry No.
- In the prescribed format an application has to be submitted.
- Proof of age and residence proof like Driving License, Voter ID Card, or Matriculation Certificate.
- The bride and groom must also submit their 7 passport size photographs.
- If either of the party is a divorcee then a certified copy of the decree of divorce granted by the Court must be submitted.
- If either of the parties’ last spouse has died, then a death certificate of the last spouse should also be submitted.
- If either of the partner to the marriage is a foreigner then, a valid VISA, a No Impediment Certificate/ NOC from the concerned Embassy are required.
Consequences of not registering a marriage
If the parties don’t register their marriage it is a loss for both of them, their marriage won’t be recognized in the eyes of law. We live in a society wherein societal issues are common in nature, which effect a woman like:
- Domestic Violence
- Marital Rape
- Child Marriage
- Harassments and the list are endless.
If the marriage is not registered then both the parties cannot avail the benefit of accessing the legal rights which are associated with the marriage. Registering a marriage is compulsory if the parties fail to do so then they have to pay the penalties, few of them are: –
- A fee of Rs. 5000 along with imprisonment for a term of 5 years in case of destruction or alteration of Register.
- Fine of Rs. 5000 and imprisonment for 2 months in case of being dishonest in the memorandum.
- As per the situation, additional penalties can be imposed.
P.Ramesh Kumar v. Secretary Kannapuran Gram Panchayat, a single judge of the Kerala High Court held that a Japanese Buddhist lady holding a Japan’s Citizenship on marriage to a Hindu will not be entitled to a marriage certificate as the wife is not a Hindu domiciled in India.
In Seema v. Ashwani Kumar, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that marriages of all citizens of India, who belong to various religions, should compulsorily register their marriage in the respective State, wherein the Marriage has been solemnized.
Author: Mansi Sharma,
Manav Rachna University, BA.LLB (3rd Year)