Report No. 212
The Foreign Marriage Act 1969
A. Solemnization of New Marriages
A Foreign Marriage Act was first enacted in India in 1903 during the British rule. It remained in force till 1969 when a new Foreign Marriage Act was enacted on the pattern of the new Special Marriage Act 1954.
Under this Act a marriage may be solemnized, in a foreign country, between two Indians or an Indian and a foreigner, irrespective in either case of the religion and personal law of the parties, if the conditions for marriage laid down in the Act are fulfilled (Section 4).
The Government of India is empowered by this Act to appoint Marriage Officers in foreign countries from amongst its diplomatic and consular staff in those countries (Section 3).
The Act does not have any provision relating to divorce, nullity or any other matrimonial remedy or relief. For this purpose the Act makes the relevant provisions of the Special Marriage Act 1954 applicable, mutatis mutandis, also to all marriages solemnized or registered under its provisions (Section 18).
The Act is entirely optional and its provisions do not adversely affect the validity of a marriage solemnized in a foreign country otherwise than under its provisions (Section 27).