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Is Compulsory Registration Of Marriage Required In India?

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A religious marriage ceremony in India is considered to be a legal marriage. However, getting a legal registration certificate will prove your marriage valid under the court of law. Getting your marriage registered under the court of law will help you get a visa, for which a formal registration certificate is required from the Registrar of Marriages.

Since India is known to be the boiling pot of various religions and cultures, there are different rules for different religions. These rules are governed by the  Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, and Christian Marriage Act, 1872 including the Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act, 1988.

What Happens If Your Marriage Is Unregistered?

difference between registered marriage and unregistered marriage

Registering marriages is a necessary reform and in its absence women can become mere victims of feud. It deprives women of societal recognition and legal security. Compulsory registration of marriage will ensure that conditions of a valid marriage have been fulfilled. Without compulsory registration women are deceived into marrying without fulfilling the conditions of a legal marriage.

The commission on the compulsory registration of marriages in India has supported the need for registration since its inception. The committee has instituted such a reform in order to safeguard women and prevent them from evil practices such as:

  • Child marriage and to ensure minimum age of marriage
  • Polygamy unless the same is permitted under any law or custom.
  • To ensure that woman before marriage gets a notice of intended marriage
  • Enable married women including women married to NRI/ foreigners to claim right to shelter and maintenance
  • Men from deserting women after marriage including the act of deterrent to the practice of selling daughters to any person (foreigner) under the ambit of getting married.

Compulsory Registration Of Marriage Bill, 2005

With no compulsion for registration of marriages in India, it is necessary that the Central Government makes provisions to register all marriages, that have taken place in their States/Union Territories or elsewhere. Thus, all marriages in whatever form, should be registered in order to secure women from harassment. Non-registration of marriage affects women, thus making them victims of bigamous relationships. Property disputes arise without a marriage certificate as a couple may not have evidence of marriage under the court of law.

Due to such instances, the Central Government has made it mandatory for all States in India to make birth registration compulsory and also asked to legislate compulsory registration marriages. This was suggested on the criteria that States have better understanding of the social structure and local conditions existing in their respective states.

Legal Tips While Registering For Marriage In India

According to Section 12 of the Compulsory Registration of Marriage Bill, 2005:

  1. Every marriage that’s solemnized or contracted between Indian citizens or in cases where one is at least an Indian citizen, performed in the country under any law or custom governing such marriages, the marriage shall be compulsorily registered with the appropriate Registrar of Marriages.
  2. It should also be the duty of both parties in the marriage to take all necessary steps for registration of marriage.

Similarly, Section 13 of the Bill mentions about Memorandum of Marriages wherein the parties to a marriage shall prepare and sign a Memorandum of Marriage as per Schedule A and further present it in person, in duplicate to the Registrar within a period of 30 days from the date of marriage. In cases where there is a late submission of Memorandum (After 30 days), then a penalty of ₹ 2 for each day will be levied. The Memorandum must be accompanied by a satisfactory explanation for the delay, and the Registrar may levy late fee.

This late fee to be paid must be paid keeping in mind:

  1. That the Memorandum shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee
  2. The Memorandum shall also be accompanied by proof of age by both parties; and
  3. Every person submitting a Memorandum to the Registrar shall be entitled to receive an acknowledgement of receipt

Section 16 of the Bill mentions about Marriage Registration Certificate, wherein the Registrar shall issue to the parties of marriage, a Certification of Registration of Marriage in the form contained in Schedule B, within 15 days of receiving the Memorandum of Marriage.

Penalties For Not Following Marriage Registration Process

Section 25-28 of the Bill talks about penalties that will be levied in cases such that:

  • Penalties Imposed For Destroying/ Altering Register

Any person who tampers with or dishonestly or fraudulently alters the register or any part thereof will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with a fine of ₹ 5000.

  • Penalty For Not Complying With Provisions Of Section 13

Any person who willfully omits or neglects to submit to the Registrar the Memorandum as required by Section 13, shall be punished with a fine of ₹ 500.

  • Penalties For Making False Statements In Memorandum

Any person who makes or verifies any statement in such Memorandum that is false in any material particular, which he/she knows or has a reason to believe to be false, shall be punished with an imprisonment for 2 months and fine that may extend to ₹ 5000.

  • Operation Of Other Penal laws

There will be punishment for any offence under this Act that will be considered an addition to the punishment provided for the offence by other penal laws.

Get Your Marriage Affidavit

If you’re a newly married couple planning to get your marriage registered, then you should opt for a Marriage Affidavit draft which is available online. Your need of having an affidavit for marriage will help you avail registration, self declaration and your applicability to rules of the Marriage Act. Click the button below and get your affidavit for marriage with LegalDesk. Try our service now!

05 Feb, 18

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