Select Location

Marriage Laws in India - Is Your Right to Marry Fundamental?

Is your right to marry fundamental? Read on to understand how your religion impacts your right to marry and how the law governs inter-faith and inter-cast marriages.
Written by:
Antim Amlan
Published on

Marriage is an institution that binds two people together for eternity. India is a secular country where people have a constitutional right to follow any religion as per their desire. There are different religious personal laws that lay down marriage laws in India. Let us take a look at the respective religious laws pertaining to marriage and marriage registration in India: 

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Under the Hindu marriage and court marriage rule, there are certain conditions that have to be complied with before marriage is valid in India:

  • The persons getting married must be unmarried and must not have a living spouse from their previous marriage
  • The legal age for a woman is 18 years and for a man is 21 years
  • The sanity of mind is necessary for both the parties and they must be capable to give their consent to the marriage freely
  • The persons getting married must be mentally fit for the marriage i.e. they must not be suffering from any mental illness
  • Both the bride and groom should not be ‘sapindas’ of each other except if it is allowed under their respective religious laws


The Special Marriage Act, 1954

The special marriage laws are applicable to citizens of India irrespective of their religion, caste or culture. Under provisions of the Act, people from a different religion, caste or community are allowed to get married, provided certain conditions are met:

  • Marriage registration in India is compulsory to solemnize a marriage under this Act. A family lawyer can be hired to complete marriage registration in India

  • The age of both bride and groom must be 18 and 21 years respectively

  • Both of them must be of sound mind

  • Both the bride and groom cannot share common ancestors or be blood relatives. In accordance to the Act, there are 37 relations forbidden, in which no wedding can be performed between them

The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

As per the Act, the solemnization of the wedding takes place in the presence of priests, clergymen or ministers in a church and as per the defined regulations of the Indian Christians community. The conditions needed to be fulfilled for a valid marriage under Christian marriage laws are:

  • The age of bridegroom and bride should be 21 years and 18 years respectively

  • Both bride and groom must give their consent voluntarily and under no compulsion from anyone

  • Both the parties to the marriage should not have an existing partner from any former marriage at the time of marriage

  • Both parties to the marriage must be sane

  • The marriage is required to be performed before the presence of at least 2 trusted witnesses and before a registrar of marriage, who has the license and authority to register a marriage and issue a marriage certificate in India

Marriage Registration in India

Marriage registration gives legal validity to the marriage of 2 persons. A marriage certificate also acts as legal proof of marriage in case of any dispute between the spouses in the future. A family lawyer can apply for marriage registration in the state where the spouses reside.

  • The marriage registration process in India and the time taken for marriage is different in every state.  However, certain steps and requirements in marriage registration in India
  • The spouses have to visit the office of Registrar of marriage in order to submit their duly filled marriage registration application filed with the help of a family lawyer along with requisite attachments, documents, and prescribed registration fees. All the submitted documents must be in 2 sets both in original as well as their attested copies for verification.
  • The office of the Registrar of Marriage is at the place where either of the two spouses has stayed for a minimum 6 months prior to the marriage
  • The marriage registration application in India must clearly state all the relevant information about the spouses and the fact of whether they were formerly married or not
  • After verification of documents, the office provides the date of issuance of the marriage certificate
  • On the scheduled date of marriage registration, the married couple has to appear before the Registrar

The total time for marriage registration in India and the issuance of the marriage certificate is about 15 days.

Court Marriage Registration in India

The following procedure is followed in court marriage registration in India:

  • A notice in the prescribed form is submitted to the Registrar of Marriage of the district in which either of the two spouses resides or has resided for a minimum of 30 days from the date on which notice is given to the Registrar. The Notice should be submitted along with required documents for court marriage and prescribed fees. Before you begin court marriage registration, we advise you to consult a court marriage lawyer to make your marriage registration process smooth and effective.
  • The Registrar receives the notice and enters the details in the marriage register.
  • The notice is then published by the Registrar in his office and one copy is sent to the other district’s marriage office if one spouse resides in another district. The objective of publishing the notice is to invite objections to the marriage if any.
  • The notice remains published for 30 days and during this period, if anyone raises any objection, then marriage details undergo further investigation.
  • The Registrar has the power to accept any objection and cancel the application for marriage registration. The spouses have the right to hire a family lawyer and file an appeal against the Registrar’s decision.

If after the end of 30 days, the Registrar has not received any objection, the marriage is solemnized and a marriage certificate registered in presence of 3 witnesses. It is advised to consult a family lawyer for marriage registration in India as there are different marriage laws in India which lay down different conditions and procedure of marriage. Email us at or call us at +919811782573.