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Registration under the special marriag act

Date: 17 Apr 2016   Posted By: Eva     Group: Lawyers    Category: Indian Law   

I´m a german citizen (christian) and my husband is indian (hindu). We performed a hindu ceremony in the arya samaj temple (without convertion to hinduism) and after that we registered our wedding in the court under the special marriage act (under section 16) in 2012. Since now we like to move to germany my husband wanted to apply for a family reunion visa at the german embassy. The german embassy claims now that our wedding is not legal under the indian law because I´m christian and the hindu ceremony which we performed is only possible for a hindu-hindu couple hence the registration in the court was illegal as well. Since I have an oci passport and my name is in the passport of my husband it is evident that the indian government considers our wedding as legal. My question is: is it true that the registration of a hindu ceremony is illegal between a christian-hindu couple under the special marriage act and if so what can be done to legalize it retroactive?

Thank you very much for your advice.

Author: Archana Kapoor    18 Apr 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

There is no such thing that you need to be a Hindu to marry a Hindu and as per law if your marriage is registered in the court then it is fully valid and legal, no court can challenge your marriage.
And as far as German Embassy is concerned, you can do one thing, show them your marriage registration certificate, and if still they are doubtful approach the marriage registrar and ask him to give a written notice addressing the German Embassy that your marriage is valid.

Author: Kailash Kumar    18 Apr 2016      Member Level: Platinum     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Section 15 and 16 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are regarding registration of marriages celebrated in other forms. It is not a marriage under the Special Marriage Act. Marriage performed under the said Act become legal on receipt of a Certificate of Marriage under section 13 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Performing marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is different from registration of a marriage under the said Act. The provisions of the said Act applies in following cases -
1. Any person, irrespective of religion.
2. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, or Jews can also perform marriage under this Act.
3. Inter-caste marriages can also be performed under this Act.
The marriage performed in a Arya Samaj Mandir is not legal as both the spouses don't follow Hindu religion.
It appears that at the time of registration of marriage under Special Marriage Act, 1954, full facts were not revealed.
The author should immediately contact marriage officer in the family court of his area for guidance.

Author: Timmappa Kamat    19 Apr 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 4  (Rs 4)    Voting Score: 0

As far as the rituals of the marriage ceremony is concerned, the Special Marriage Act does not need any rites or celebrations to make them valid. The basic requirement is the consent of both the parties. As long as they both agree to marry each other, there should be no hindrance of any nature - be it caste, religion, ethnicity or any such issues.
As per the provisions under this act, both the parties need to file a notice expressing their intention of getting married at the district marriage registrar. At least one of the parties should have resided in the area at least 30 days preceding the date of this notice. If the registrar gets any objection to the marriage within 30 days of filing such notice, he may evaluate the objections and decide on the future course of action. He may or may not cancel the marriage depending on the validity of the objection. After the expiry of 30 days of notice period, the marriage is solemnized. The concerned parties need to give their consent before the marriage registrar in the presence of three witnesses to officially solemnize the marriage.

Now, that is what you need to know about Special Marriage Act, 1954. There are certain underlying conditions as well.

1. Groom and the bride should be at least 21 and 18 years of age respectively.

2. They should not have any living spouse at the time of marriage.

3. They should fall under prohibited relationships.

Please check if you have followed those instructions properly. As for the Hindu style of marriage ceremony you mentioned, it is NOT a prerequisite for the marriage to get solemnized.

As said in the previous response, it would be better to consult a family court so as to avoid future complications.

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