Supreme court has said in its landmark reportable judgment of Smt. Seema vs Ashwani Kumar SCC (2) 2006, 578 that “compulsory registration of marriage would be a step in the right direction for the prevention of child marriage still prevalent in many parts of the country. There after marriages are made compulsorily registered in most of the states by notification. Still a large number of marriages solemnized prior to the decision and even after the decision are still unregistered and people have lots of dilemma for marriage registration.
Provisions regarding marriage registration.
1) The Special Marriage Act, 1954 applies to Indian citizens and their marriage can be registered and solemnized by the Marriage Officer specially appointed for the purpose. Person of any religion can directly approach the Officer for a new marriage solemnization or a registration of previously solemnized marriages.
2) Hindu Marriage Act Section 8 lays down the provision of marriage registration and gives State Government ample power to make rules regarding this. The marriage registration in this act is voluntary.
3) Muslim personal laws recognizes the registration of Marriages through Public or Private Kazis.
4) The registration of marriage is compulsory under the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 by concerned Church soon after the marriage ceremony along with the signatures of bride and bridegroom, the officiating priest and the witnesses.
5) The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 makes registration of marriages compulsory.
There are several other local laws in various states which lays down compulsory/ volunteer registration which can be referred in particular case.
Provision for basic condition for registration under Special Marriage Act.
(a) Neither party has a spouse living:
(b) neither party-
(i) is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind, or
(ii) though capable of giving a valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children; or
(iii) has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy;
(c) the male has completed the age of twenty-one years and the female the age of eighteen years;
(d) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship:
(e) The spouse does not fall under prohibited degree of relationship.
The person seeking registration under Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act has to approach the office of the Additional Divisional Magistrate where the marriage has solemnized or the husband / wife resides and submit the application for the marriage registration in the designated format along with following documents.
1.Five Passport Size Photographs - each of Marrying Persons.
2. Residential Proof (Voter Card / Passport / Ration Car / Driving License / Rent Deed) of Marrying Persons.
3. Date of Birth Proof (Municipal Corporation Certificate, X th or XII th Examination Certificate, Passport, PAN Card) of Marrying Persons).
4.If any party is divorcee Certified copy of Decree of Divorce granted by the Court.
5. If any party is widow / widower Death Certificate of the dead spouse.
6. If any party is a Foreign Citizen or holding a foreign Passport or is having foreign residential address - Certificate of Present Marital Status of the party / No Impediment Certificate / NOC from concerned Embassy and Valid VISA.
7. Two Witnesses ( Both should be major ).
8. Photograph of Marriage.
9. Marriage Invitation Card.
10. Affidavit by both the parties.
11. Affidavit of Name change (if applicable) .
12. Challan of 10/- with the cashier for registration under Hindu Marriage Act and Rs. 15/- under Special Marriage Act.
13. Certificate of concern Presit / Kazi certifying the marriage for other than Hindu.
14. All the document should be attested by Govt. officer/ Public Notary.
On the notices to both the parties and on the notice board of the ADM office, after lapse 30 days both the parties have to attend the office of ADM along with witnesses. The ADM usually call a police verification, address to the objection and report which needs to be address.
Upon satisfaction, the ADM pass the order for registration of marriage.
Purpose : The marriage registration is substantial proof of marital relationship and the validity of the child reproduced from the marriage. It helps court and authorities to decide various issues arising out of marriage and custody, property dispute, family matters etc arising out of marital relationship. The VISA authorities accept the marriage certificate issued by Additional Divisional Marriage. It is very important and now becoming compulsory to register the marriage and it is better to opt for registration when parties have clean intention for a marital relations and wish to help the spouse and children.