AdvocateKhoj
Login : Advocate | Client
Home Post Your Case My Account Law College Law Library
    

Report No. 212

Laws of Civil Marriages in India - A Proposal to Resolve Certain Conflicts

Chapter I

Introduction

Under the present legal system of India citizens have a choice between their respective religion-based and community-specific marriage laws on the one hand and, on the other hand, the general and common law of civil marriages. While the laws of the first of these categories are generally described by the compendious expression "personal laws", the latter law is found in the following two enactments:

(i) Special Marriage Act 1954; and

(ii) Foreign Marriage Act 1969.

The first of these Acts is meant for those getting married within the country and the latter for those Indian citizens who may marry in a foreign country.

The Special Marriage Act 1954 is not concerned with the religion of the parties to an intended marriage. Any person, whichever religion he or she professes, may marry under its provisions either within his or her community or in a community other than his or her own, provided that the intended marriage in either case is in accord with the conditions for marriage laid down in this Act [Section 4].

The Special Marriage Act 1954 also provides the facility of turning an existing religious marriage into a civil marriage by registering it under its provisions, provided that it is in accord with the condition for marriage laid down under this Act [Section 15]. The Act provides for the appointment of Marriage Officers who can both solemnize an intended marriage and register a pre-existing marriage governed by any other law [Section 3].

The Foreign Marriage Act 1969 facilitates solemnization of civil marriages by Indian citizens outside the country, with another citizen or with a foreigner. This Act also is not concerned with the religion of the parties to an intended marriage; any person can marry under its provisions either within his or her own community or in a different community. For carrying its purposes the Foreign Marriage Act empowers the Central Government to designate Marriage Officers in all its diplomatic missions abroad.

Numerous marriages take place in India which are outside the ambit of various personal laws but cannot be governed by the Special Marriage Act either for the reason of not having been formally solemnized or registered under it. The question which law would then apply to such marriages remains unresolved.

Both the Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Foreign Marriage Act 1969 are meant equally for all Indian communities. Yet they contain some provisions which greatly inhibit members of certain communities to avail their provisions.

To meet these concerns the present report seeks to suggest certain amendments in both the Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Foreign Marriage Act 1969. The purpose of these suggestions is to make the two Acts available to a larger number of marriages than they now are and to make them widely acceptable to all communities of India.



Laws of Civil Marriages in India - A Proposal to Resolve certain Conflicts Back




Client Area | Advocate Area | Blogs | About Us | User Agreement | Privacy Policy | Advertise | Media Coverage | Contact Us | Site Map
powered and driven by neosys