marriage registration laws in India

Marriage is considered as a sacred institution in the Indian culture. It is a sacred bond between two people, whereby they agree to spend the rest of their lives together.  There are quite a few marriage registration laws in India.

After the marriage is solemnized between the bride and the groom, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled in order to give it a legal standing, i.e. to make it valid under the laws prevalent in India.

Due to diverse cultures in India, it became difficult for the framers of law in this regard to lay down a due process for registration and solemnization of marriage, keeping in mind the fact that if any law or policy is found adversely affecting any custom of any religion, it is likely to face popular protest.

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Uniting diverse cultures: The Hindu Marriage Act & The Special Marriage Act

Currently, there are two legislation framed to solve the challenge of Marriage Registration Laws in diverse cultures, they are –

  1. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  2. The Special Marriage Act, 1954

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with marriage registration in case both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or,  where they have converted into any of these religions.

It is to be noted that Hindu Marriage Act deals with only marriage registration that has already been solemnized.

Whereas, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 lay down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage, where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.

It is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the rights of both the husband and wife are protected. In case this union between the husband and wife breaks, it should be determined that if this break-up was a result of actions of any of the parties or not.

Essentials of Marriage Registration


Under the Hindu marriage Act, 1955, certain conditions must be fulfilled in order to give the marriage between the parties a legal standing and make it a valid marriage. These conditions have been specified under Sec. 5 and sec. 7 of the Act. By virtue of section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, a marriage will be valid only if both the parties to the marriage are Hindus. If one of the parties to the marriage is a Christian or Muslim, the marriage will not be a valid Hindu marriage.[1]

It was held in the case of M. Vijayakumari vs. K. Devabalan[2] that:

A marriage between a Hindu man who converted as Christian and a Christian lady in a Hindu form is not a valid marriage. According to section 5 of the Act marriage can be solemnized between two Hindus.

A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:

  • Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage,
  • Neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind,
  • Though capable of giving a valid consent, neither of them 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,
  • Neither of them has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy.
  • The bridegroom has completed the age of 21 years and the bride the age of 18 years at the time of marriage,
  •  The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two,
  • The parties are not sapindas (one is a lineal ascendant of the other) of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two[3].


Degree of prohibited relationship[4]- Two persons are said to be covered under the degrees of prohibited relationship if –

  • One of them is the lineal ascendant of the other,
  • If one was the wife or husband of lineal ascendant or descendant of the other,
  • If one of them was wife of the brother or of the father’s or mother’s brother or of the grandfather’s or grandmother’s brother of the other,
  • If the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters.

Must Read: who’s a lineal ascendant/ descendant?

A marriage falling within the above categories shall be considered void.

Exception: Here the customs  play an important role i.e.  If there is a valid custom governing the parties, they can marry even if they fall under the degrees of prohibited relationship.
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Punishment:  A marriage solemnized between the parties within the degrees of prohibited relationship is considered null and void .

The parties of such marriage are liable to be punished with simple imprisonment for a period of one month of fine or Rs. 10000/- or with both[5].

Solemnization in Hindu Marriage

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with the ceremonies to be followed in a Hindu marriage, by the virtue of Sec. 7. The provision states that a Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either of the parties.

A Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.

Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptpadi (that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

The ceremonies may vary according to the cultures and customs followed by the parties.

In the matter of Kanwal Ram vs. Himachal Pradesh Administration[6] the court declared that a marriage is not proved unless the essential ceremonies required for its solemnization are proved to have been performed.


The Special Marriage Act, deals with both solemnization and registration of marriage. Under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 certain conditions have been laid down under Sec. 4, which are substantially similar to those laid down under Sec. 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954.

As per this act, no religious ceremonies are prerequisite for a marriage to be complete.

The Act lays down following conditions for a marriage to be regarded as a lawful one, having legal standing, by the virtue of Sec. 4:

  • Neither party should have a spouse living at the time of the marriage[7].
  • The physical and mental capacity of the both the parties should be as per the section requires[8].
  • The age of the parties i.e. the male has completed the age of twenty one and the female has complete the age of eighteen[9].
  • The parties are not within the degree of prohibited relationship provided that custom governing one of the parties permits such a marriage between them[10].

A marriage in contravention of any of the above conditions will stand void under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. For the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs marrying within these four communities, the Special Marriage Act 1954 is an alternative to the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

The Muslims marrying a Muslim have a choice between their uncodified personal law and the Special Marriage Act[11].

10 Things Every Indian Should Know About Special Marriage Act 1954


It is essential to carefully understand the procedure to be followed to get your marriage registered as per law.

Who to approach for marriage registration?

For the purpose of registration of marriage[12], one has to approach the office of the Sub Divisional Magistrate under whose jurisdiction the marriage took place or where either of the spouses stayed for at least six months before the marriage.

Documents required for marriage registration

As per the official website of Delhi Government, following documents are required to be submitted after being duly attested by the Gazetted Officer, for  obtaining registration of   marriage as per Hindu culture:

  •  Application form or Memorandum of marriage duly signed by husband and wife.
  •  Documentary evidence for support of date of birth of both the parties. This age, under both the Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act, is 21 years for male and 18 years for female. This document can be in the form of matriculation certificate/passport/birth certificate.
  • Residence proof of husband and wife (Ration Card, Aadhar Card, Election Voter Id, PAN Card, or bills like Electricity Bill etc.)
  •  Two passport size photographs of both the parties and one marriage photograph.
  • Marriage invitation card, if available.
  • In case the marriage was solemnized at a religious place, a certificate from the priest is required to solemnize the marriage.
  •  In case of marriage under Hindu Marriage Act Rs. 100, and in case of marriage Special Marriage Act, Rs. 150, is required to be submitted to the cashier of the district and the receipt is to be attached along with the application form.
  •  The parties are required to give affirmation that they are not related and do not fall within the degree of prohibited relationship, as laid down under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1955.
  • Attested copy of divorce decree/order in case of a divorcee and death certificate of spouse in case of widow/widower.
  •  In case one of the parties belong to other than Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religions, a conversion certificate from the priest who solemnized the marriage(in case of Hindu Marriage Act) is required.
  •  Affidavit by both the parties stating place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage and nationality.

In case of Court Marriage – how does registration of marriage take place?

  •  An Affidavit must be attested by Magistrate/S.D.M. or Notary Public with Register Entry No.
  •  Application form in the prescribed format.
  •  Age Proof or any one out of – Voter I- Card, Driving License and Matriculation Certificate.
  •  Residence Proof- Voter I- Card, Driving License, Matriculation Certificate, or Passport.
  • 7 Passport size photographs of the bride & the groom .
  •  PAN Cards and the Residential Proofs of the three witnesses.
  •  In case one of the bride or groom is (are) a divorcee than a Certified copy of Decree of Divorce granted by the Court or
  • In case of the death of the last spouse of either of the party, a death certificate is required.
  • If one of the partner is a foreigner then No Impediment Certificate / NOC from concerned Embassy and Valid VISA required.

 Criteria for Marriage Registration

  1. . Hindu Marriage Act

For the purpose of concluding the process, after due verification of all the documents submitted by the parties, a day is fixed for registration which is communicated to the parties. Both the parties, along with the Gazetted Officer who attended their marriage, are required to be present on the said day before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

After all the process is concluded, and the SDM is satisfied, the certificate is granted on the same day.

2.   Special Marriage Act

for initiating the process of marriage registration under this Act, before submitting the above documents, both the parties have to give a 30-day notice to the sub-registrar in whose jurisdiction at least one spouse has resided[13].

Both the parties are required to be present after submission of documents for issuance of public notice inviting objections. One copy of notice is pasted on the notice board of the office and the copy of the notice is sent via registered post to both the parties as per the address given by them.

Registration is done 30 days after the date of notice, after deciding any objection that may have been received during that period by the SDM. Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration[14].

Marriage between an Indian and a foreigner

There is no law in India that prohibits an Indian  marrying with a foreigner in India.

Certainly, both must be legally of sound mind and competent enough to marry. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is applicable where an Indian and a foreigner intent to marry in India.

On the other hand, when an Indian intends to marry in any other country, the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 is applicable[15].

Thus, it can be implied that a marriage performed between an Indian and a foreigner is a civil marriage in nature.

In such a case, firstly a No Impediment Certificate/NOC from concerned Embassy and valid VISA is required. All other documents and the procedures to comply with are the same as any other civil marriage performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Christian Marriages In India

Though the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are the two primary legislation governing the process of solemnization and registration of marriage in India, there are certain other legislation enacted to govern the process of marriage solemnization and marriage registration between certain minority religions in present in India.

For instance,  the Christians and the Parsi –

These minority religions which are not covered under either of the two primary legislation are to be given an equal treatment and thus it was very essential for the Indian legislature to frame laws in this regard.

The Christians marriages in India are governed by the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, which provides for solemnization of marriage either by a minister or by a priest of the church.

The Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872

The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, however, says that all Christian marriages shall be solemnized under its own provisions[16]. It further, by the virtue of Sec. 4, lays down that apart from Christian-Christian marriages,  the marriage of a Christian with a non-Christian must also be solemnized under this Act.

Deciding a case, the Karnataka High Court held that “Christian marriage – even if one of its parties is a Hindu – cannot be dissolved by a decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act”[17].

Interestingly, Division bench under same High Court-in 1995 – ruled that-

“Marriage performed under the Christian Marriage Act and validly registered under the provisions of Special Marriage Act can be dissolved on the basis of mutual consent under Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act , if the conditions laid down in that Section are fulfilled”.[18]

The general conditions are same as for the other marriages, i.e. the marriage should take place with free consent of the parties, bride and bridegroom should be of 18 and 21 years respectively, and neither party should have a spouse living.

Apart from this, following procedure is to be followed if marriage is performed under this Act:

  • Notice of intended marriageIf both the parties reside in the same area, either party will have to notify the Minister of Religion of their intention to marry by the way of a notice. In case both the parties reside in different areas, each party will have to make a separate notice in writing to the Marriage Registrar located within their areas of residence.[19]

The notice has certain important details like-

¤ In case any of the party is minor:  The father, if living, of any minor, or, if the father is dead, the guardian of the person of such minor, and, in case there is no such guardian, then the mother of such minor, may give consent to the minor’s marriage, and such consent is hereby required for the same marriage, unless no person authorized to give such consent be resident in India[20].

¤ The Minister then issues certificate in pursuance of the notice to solemnize the marriage.

¤ Persons authorized to solemnize:  According to Sec. 5 of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, following people are competent to solemnize a marriage and a marriage solemnized by any other of these persons will stand void-

♦  Any Clergyman of the Church of Scotland, provided that such marriage be solemnized according to the rules, rites, ceremonies and customs of the Church of Scotland,

♦  Any Minister of Religion licensed under this Act to solemnize marriages,

♦ By or in the presence of, a Marriage Registrar appointed under this Act,

♦ Any person licensed under this Act to grant certificates of marriage between Indian Christians.

  • Performance of marriage

A Christian Marriage is performed between the parties to the marriage according to the rituals that are regarded as essential and proper as per Minister or Priest performing the marriage. The marriage rituals compulsorily require presence of two witnesses apart from the minister or the priest performing the marriage.

If a marriage has not been performed within the period of two months after the issuance of the certificate of notice, such a marriage cannot be performed after the lapse of the two month period, and a fresh certificate of notice should be applied for in order to solemnize the marriage.

  • Marriage Registration 

The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, under Part IV deals with marriage registration performed under this Act. The parties are required to make an application for marriage  registration  to the concerned authority in whose Jurisdiction either party has been residing. The Marriage Register is where the Registrar, who was present and performed the marriage of the couple, registers the marriage.

The acknowledgement slip of the registration is signed by both the parties to the marriage along with their witnesses and it is attached to the register as a proof that the marriage was registered. These acknowledgement slips are sent out at the end of the month to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Indian Christian marriages can also be endorsed under a special provision without a prior notice.

Documents Required: 

  1.  Complete Application Form
  2.  Passport Size Photographs
  3.  Marriage Certificate issued by the Minister of Priest who performed the marriage
  4.  Proof of Residence and Age of the Parties
  5.  Affidavit certifying mental and marital status of both parties.



Marriage under Parsi Marriage Act can be registered in the Office of the District Registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage takes place. The Act considers the marriage unlawful under certain conditions laid down in Sec. 4, which says-

“No Parsi (whether such Parsi has changed his or her religion or domicile or not) shall contract any marriage under this Act or any other law in the lifetime of his or her wife or husband, whether a Parsi or not, except after his or her lawful divorce from such wife or husband or after his or her marriage with such wife or husband has lawfully been declared null and void or dissolved, and, if the marriage was contracted with such wife or husband under the  Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1865 or under this Act, except after a divorce, declaration or dissolution as aforesaid under either of the said Acts”.

Any marriage that has been performed in contradiction of this provision stands void[21].

According to this Act:

  1. A Parsi priest solemnizes the marriage.
  2.  Signatures of both bride and bridegroom are required along with signatures of three witnesses to issue a certificate of marriage.
  3.  Certificate needs to be send to Marriage Officer for registration along with prescribed fee.
  4.  The parties must not fall under the ‘Degree of prohibited relationship’ laid down by Sec. 53.

 Some Special Laws

  • Rights to the Second Wife, in case she’s Alive

The marriage registration laws in India witnessed certain recent developments.

With time, a number of issues also developed in the application of laws regarding Rights of Second Wife under a Hindu marriage. In the absence of a legal position of the bigamy relationship under Hindu law or any guidelines in this regard, the situation becomes extremely depressing and stressful for the women.

When both the women feel cheated by the husband-

In such a scenario, it is very essential to know that a second marriage is illegal under the Hindu law if the first spouse is living. But it should also be seen that such a relationship reflects the image of the second wife as a victim who did not have any knowledge of her husband’s actions and thus she should not suffer.

Historically, as a norm, the first wife enjoyed precedence over the other wives and her first born son enjoyed precedence over his other half brothers. There is a possibility  that originally, the subsequent wives were considered as merely a superior class of concubines. Later, in the courts of British India, it was a settled law that a Hindu male could without any restriction marry again while his previous marriage subsisted (second marriage) without his wife’s consent and justification[22].

In the matter of Raghveer Kumar vs. Shanmukha Vadivar, that “a custom prevalent amongst Nadars in Udumalapeta Taluk preventing a second marriage, even if established could not have the force of law”[23].

Retirement Benefits

Recently, Bombay High Court pronounced a significant ruling with regard to retirement benefits of the second wives under Hindu law and held that she can claim the retirement benefits of the deceased husband[24].

The Apex Court, in 2010, observed that if a woman married an already married man, she would not be entitled to maintenance and other protections[25].

As per the census data of 2011, there are 6.6 million more married women than men in India[26].


In the matter of Badshah vs. Sou Urmila Badshah Godse[27], the Court opined that a woman who was kept in the dark about a subsisting marriage of her husband could claim maintenance under Section 125, CrPC.

Thus, it can be said that the judiciary has created an exceptional class of women who were deceived into marrying an already married man, excluding women who knowingly did the same.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act), securing all classes of women irrespective of being second or first wife, provides that all women in a “domestic relationship”  claim to maintenance[28].

To prove the factum of marriage between the husband and the wife, in order to claim maintenance u/s 125 Cr.P.C., reliance is to be made upon the Voter’s Identity Card, wherein she has been referred to as his wife, or the joint bank account, or even the police complaint wherein he has stated that she is his wife , can be used to prove her status as her wife and that she was being treated as a wife by the man in the society.

Children Out of Wedlock

The Madhya Pradesh High Court, in a 1991 case ruled the following regarding the second wives who bear children out of “illegal” wedlock:


Madras High Court recently pronounced that the second wife has a legal right to pension. The Court held that even though the couple was not married validly, they were living together since 1976 [30].

Read : legal rights of a live-in partner

It conferred legal rights upon the wife and thus the Court directed pension to be paid from the date of death of the husband within a period of 12 weeks. It also directed the authorities to pay monthly pension to the second wife.

Right to Streedhan

The wife has ownership rights to all her streedhan, i.e. the gifts and money given to her before and after marriage.

The ownership rights to streedhan belong to the wife, even if  it is placed in the custody of her husband or her in-laws. Supreme Court has stated that women can claim streedhan even after separation from husband[31].

Right to Residence

The wife has the right to reside in her matrimonial household where her husband resides, immaterial of whether it is an ancestral house, a joint family house, a self-acquired house or a rented house.

In Smt. B.P. Achala Anand case[32], the Supreme Court observed that the wife has a right to reside in her matrimonial home under the personal laws.

It was further observed that:

“A wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband. She is entitled to remain under his roof and protection. She is also entitled to separate residence if by reason of the husband’s conduct or by his refusal to maintain her in his own place of residence or for other just cause she is compelled to live apart from him. “

Right to residence is a part and parcel of wife’s right to maintenance. For the purpose of maintenance the term wife’ includes a divorced wife”.

This right and maintenance can be claimed against husband only[33].

Right to Child Maintenance

In case the wife is incapable to earn a living, or has no source to earn bread, she is entitled to receive financial aid from the husband.

If both the parents are financially incapable, then they are free to seek help from the grandparents to maintain the child. A minor child also enjoys the right to seek partition in ancestral property.

  • What if the marriage is solemnized in the J&K  ?

In case the marriage is solemnized in Jammu & Kashmir [ J&k ], the parties to the marriage are considered to be the Indian citizens-domiciled in the territories to which the Special Marriage Act extends-if they have married under the Special Marriage Act, which mostly happens in case of inter-caste marriages.

The marriage officer is bound to display the notice of the intended marriage, by affixing a copy to some conspicuous place in his office.

  • In case authorities Refuse to solemnize marriage

In case the marriage officer refuses to solemnize the intended marriage between the two parties, then within a period of thirty days of the intended marriage, either party can prefer an appeal to the District Court – within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the marriage officer has his office.

The decision of the District Court, regarding the solemnization of the intended marriage, shall be final and binding.

  • If  two adults wish to marry in a temple

In this case the marriage must be solemnized according to the rituals, customs and practices under Hindu culture.

In other words, pure Indian customs have to be followed in case of a temple marriage. But to prove such a marriage valid or legal in the eyes of law, there must be a certificate, which is issued by the marriage registration office after going through the pictures and the statement of the witness present at the time of the marriage, other than the priest.

  • Arya Samaj Marriage

If the parties to the marriage are Hindu (or converted to Hinduism), they can also opt to the marriage in the Arya Samaj Mandir.

The marriage is solemnized by the Arya Samaj Mandir following Hindu customs and rituals and religious practices, after checking the required documents affirming the age and consent of the parties.

Even if the marriage is solemnized by the Arya Samaj Mandir authorities, the parties have to get the marriage registered by the Registrar who will check the photographs and documents and the witnesses of the marriage before issuing the certificate.

Arya Samaj certificate is a legal marriage document only in India.

As per the Arya Samaj Marriage Validation Act, 1937, an Arya Samaj Marriage is a valid marriage.

Recently, there have been cases where the marriage is solemnized by the Arya Samaj authorities but there was a mistake in the details in the certificate issued by them.

In such a case, The married couple can approach them to rectify the mistakes but, if they refuse to do so or, as seen in number of cases, demand money to do so –

the first step taken in such a situation is to address a letter to Arya Samaj for correcting the mistake. If even then no action is taken by the Arya Samaj authorities, then a written complaint can be lodged with the person heading Arya Samaj locality.

  • Marrying NRI

Now a days, there has been a rise in number of both NRI marriages and problems caused by such marriages. Mostly it is the female who suffers in such marriage. Following are some instances of problems faced by women after marrying an NRI:

  • Female married to an NRI who is abandoned even before being taken by her husband to the foreign country of his residence.
  • Wife brutally battered, assaulted, abused – both mentally and physically- malnourished, confined and ill treated and forced to flee or was forcibly sent back.
  • A quick engagement, followed by a massive wedding, a huge dowry and a honeymoon, after which the NRI husband flies out of India while the wife waits for her visa.
  • Wife reaches the foreign country of her husband’s residence and waits at the international airport there only to find that her husband would not turn  at all.
  • NRI husband is found already married in the other country to another woman.
  • Husband gives false information on any or all of the following- his job, immigration status, earning, property, marital status and other material particulars, to agree the woman to the marriage.
  • Aggrieved woman who approached the court, either in India or in the other country, for maintenance or divorce but repeatedly encountered technical legal obstacles related to jurisdiction of courts, service of notices or orders, or enforcement of orders or learnt of the husband commencing simultaneous retaliatory legal proceeding in the other country.

Solutions :

This is a serious concern regarding the subject of marriages. The first precaution has to be taken by the party marrying the NRI.

  1. They must verify the information they are getting from the other party before the marriage.
  2. They should thoroughly verify the status of the spouse as actually represented, especially with regard to the following particulars –

¤  Marital status:  Whether single, divorced, separated

¤ Employment details: Qualification and post, salary, address of office, employers and their      credentials

¤ Immigration details: Type of visa, eligibility to take spouse to the other country

¤ Financial status – (to be verified with the employer)

¤ Criminal antecedents, if any

¤ Family background

3.  The female and her family should check the following documents relating to the spouse and keep a copy of the following with them:

◊ Visa, passport

◊ Social security number

◊ Passport number

◊ Tax returns of the preceding 3 years

◊ Proof of Address in foreign country

Sources of Verification

  • Friends, relatives and contacts of the spouse

The female’s family can investigate and verify the above matters through their friends, relative and contacts but, if they fail to get information through the network of friends and relatives, they may contact the local Indian associations/ bodies/ NGOs etc. in the country where the NRI/PIO fiancé is residing, to seek help to check his details/background.

  •  Embassy

In case the husband ill-treats the wife and demands dowry after she had moved with him to the foreign country, she can approach the Indian Embassy/Consulate for assistance/advice, to file a complaint with the local police about harassment, abandonment, ill-treatment, etc.

The Embassy/Consulate can assist in providing contact details of local NGOs, approach the local police, contact your family/friends, etc. who could help you.

The Indian Mission can be contacted for initial legal/financial assistance to file a case against your husband in the foreign country[34].

Wife abandoned by NRI husband

If the NRI husband has abandoned the woman in India, she can immediately file a complaint/ FIR under 498A IPC on grounds of cruelty with the police in the local police station in the area where she was abandoned.

Offences committed outside India would be deemed to have been committed within the territory of India by virtue of Section 188 of the Cr. P.C. Therefore, the aggrieved woman can lodge a complaint for the same in India.

  • Sikh marriage

In 2012, Indian Parliament passed a law, allowing Sikhs to register their marriage under the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2012[35]. Although Anand Marriage Act was passed in 1909, there was no provision for registration of marriages which were registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Mostly Gurudwara is chosen for marriage.

A recognized Gurudwara has strict rules wherein the duly notarized affidavits of both parties who should be Sikh by religion are taken before the marriage, even there is demand that parents of both sides should be present for proper Sikh Marriage ceremony also known as Anand Karaj, there are terms and conditions as per rules to be followed.

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[2]M. Vijayakumari vs. K. Devabalan, AIR 2003 Ker 363

[3]Sec. 5, The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

[4]Sec. 5(4), The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

[5]Sec. 18(b), the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

[6]Kanwal Ram vs. Himachal Pradesh Administration, AIR 1966 SC 614

[7] Section 4(a), the Special Marriage Act, 1954

[8] Section 4(b), the Special Marriage Act, 1954

[9] Section 4(c), the Special Marriage Act, 1954

[10] Section 4(d), the Special Marriage Act, 1954

[11]Law Commission of India Report No. 212




[15] Law Commission of India Report 212

[16] Sec. 4, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

[17] 1993 MLJ 31

[18] 1995 MLJ 492

[19] Sec. 12, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

[20] Sec. 19, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

[21] Sec. 4(2), The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936


[23] Raghveer Kumar vs. Shanmukha Vadivar, AIR 1971 Mad 330

[24] Rights of Second Wives, Economic and Political Weekly (Vol. 51, Issue No. 25), June 18, 2016 (Accessed at:

[25] D. Velusamy vs. D. Patchaiammal, (2010) 10 SCC 469

[26] Ibid

[27] Badshah vs. Sou Urmila Badshah Godse, (2014) 1 SCC 188

[28] Sec. 2(f), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

[29] Laxmibai vs. Ayodhya Prasad Alias Ramadhar, AIR 1991 MP 47

[30] S.Suseela @ Mary Margaret vs. The Superintendent Of Police, Writ Petition No.15806 of 2015 and
M.P.No.1 of 2015

[31] Times of India, Nov 15, 2015 (Accessed at:

[32] B.P. Achala Anand vs. S. Appi Reddy & Anr, AIR 2005 SC 986

[33] Times of India, July 29, 2007 (Accessed at:

[34] India Centre for Immigration (Accessed at:

[35] Act VII of 1909






  1. I stayed 90 days in India and applied for marriage. The documents are ready. But due to visa problem my would-be husband could not come and I have to go back for complying with visa rules. I will come again and my would-be husband would get visa soon. Will it require another application or the earlier application will work?

  2. Great article, thank you!
    We got married under the Special Marriage Act (5th Schedule, Sec 16) in Bangalore in 2015. We are a German Atheist and an Indian Hindu and went for the form ‘Registration of Marriages Celebrated in Other Forms’. We had various ceremonial elements of our choice in June (German ring ceremony, elements of Hindu ceremony, family unification ceremony, etc) and had the marriage registered in September. The German Governemnt refuses to accept the marriage certificate, since according to them ‘any ceremony celebrated in beforehand of the registration can only take place if both spouses are of the same religion’. Can somebody help us?

    • Hello mam /sir have get any solution on your problem? ?have solved this thing because I have also same problem? ?can you help me how have you solved this?

  3. Thank you for offering solid advice, explaining the logic behind it and the guidance on how to marriage attestation can get it done. A complete guide of attestation procedures in India!

  4. I got married in 1985 and my wife was less than 18 at that time .Can registrar refuse to register marriage now as I need it for Us green card

  5. If marriage under Hindu marriage act is not registered, how can a certificate stating the “marriage Records not found” be obtained? This certificate is required for Green Card to USA?

  6. Hi just a question if someone marry under arya samaj but girl if NRI and muslim and they need to get the registration done under special marriage act can they do it? Even they have registered theirs marriage under hindu act?


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