Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs can also perform marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jewish religions can also perform marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Inter-caste marriages are performed under this Act.
This Act is applicable to the entire territory of India (excluding the states of Jammu and Kashmir) and extends to intending spouses who are both Indian nationals living abroad.
the normal procedure for marriage to be performed under the special marriage act
The marriage performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is a civil contract and accordingly, there need be no rites or ceremonial requirements.
The parties have to file a Notice of Intended Marriage in the specified form to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given.
After the expiration of thirty days from the date on which notice of an intended marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnized, unless it has been objected to by any person.
The marriage may be solemnized at the specified Marriage Office.
Marriage is not binding on the parties unless each party states "I, (A), take thee (B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)," in the presence of the Marriage Officer and three witnesses.
Conditions for marriage
Each party involved should have no other subsisting valid marriage. In other words, each party should be monogamous.
The bridegroom must be at least 21 years old; the bride must be at least 18 years old.
The parties should be competent in regards to their mental capacity to the extent that they are able to give valid consent for the marriage.
The parties should not fall within the degree of prohibited relationship.