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India, being a cosmopolitan country, allows each citizen to be governed under

personal laws relevant to religious views. This extends to personal laws inter
alia in the matter of marriage and divorce.
As part of the Hindu Code Bill, the Hindu Marriage Act was enacted by
Parliament in 1955 to amend and to codify marriage law between Hindus. As
well as regulating the institution of marriage (including validity of marriage and
conditions for invalidity), it also regulates other aspects of personal life among
Hindusand the applicabilityof such lives in wider Indian society.
The Hindu Marriage Act provides guidance for Hindus to be in a systematic
marriage bond. It gives meaning to marriage, cohabiting rights for both the
bride and groom, and a safety for their family and children so that they do not
suffer from their parental issues.

The Indian Christian Marriage Act was enacted on 18th July, 1872.
All marriages between one party Christian or both the party to marriage being
Christian has to be follow under said provisions of the act and whoever not following
the said provision such marriage is considered to be void. Person by whom marriage
can be solemnized in Indian can be person who has received Episcopal ordination as
the marriage that he is solemnizing is according to rules, rites, ceremonies of the
church of which he is minister or such person who is Clergyman of church of
Scotland or such person who is Minister of Religion Licensed to solemnize the
marriage by this act, or such person appointed as Marriage Registrar as per the act
or the person who is licensed by this act to grant marriage certificate to Indian
“Church” is only place where marriage can be solemnized, but it can be even
solemnized at any such place, where there is no Church within five miles distance to
nearest to that place or only when he has received special permission granting him
to solemnize the marriage other then church.

Void marriages
A marriage may be declared void if it contravenes any of the following:
1. Either party is under age.The bridegroom should be of 21 years of age and
the bride of 18 years.
2. Either party is not of a Hindu religion.Both the bridegroom and the bride
should be of the Hindu religion at the time of marriage.
3. Either party is already married. The Act expressively prohibits polygamy. A
marriage can only be solemnized if neither party has a living spouse at the
time of marriage.
4. The parties are sapindas or within the degree of prohibited relationship.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954 replaced the old Act III, 1872. The new enactment has
3 major objectives:

1. To provide a special form of marriage in certain cases,

2. to provide for registration of certain marriages and,
3. to provide for divorce.[5]


 1Applicability
 2Conditions for marriage
 3Succession to the property
 4See also
 5References

1. Any person, irrespective of religion.[6]
2. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, or Jews can also
perform marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.[6]
3. Inter-religion marriages are performed under this Act.[6]
4. This Act is applicable to the entire territory of India (excluding the state of Jammu
and Kashmir) and extends to intending spouses who are both Indian nationals
living abroad.[6]
5. Indian national living abroad. [7]
6. The parties have to file a Notice of Intended Marriage in the specified form to the
Marriage Registrar of the district in which at least one of the parties to the
marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately
preceding the date on which such notice is given.[8]
7. After the expiration of thirty days from the date on which notice of an intended
marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnised, unless it has
been objected to by any person.
8. The marriage may be solemnised at the specified Marriage Office.[8]
9. Marriage is not binding on the parties unless each party states "I, (A), take thee
(B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)," in the presence of the Marriage Officer
and three witnesses.[8]

Conditions for marriage[edit]

1. Each party involved should have no other subsisting valid marriage. In other
words, the resulting marriage should be monogamous for both parties.[8]
2. The groom must be at least 21 years old; the bride must be at least 18 years
3. The parties should be competent in regards to their mental capacity to the extent
that they are able to give valid consent for the marriage.[8]
4. The parties should not fall within the degree of prohibited relationship.[9]
Court Marriage is a union of two soul where oath ceremony is performed according to
Special Marriage Act-1954 before the Registrar of Marriage in the presence of three
witnesses thereafter a court marriage certificate is issued directly by the Registrar of
Marriage appointed by the Govt. of India. Franc ally speaking marriage is solemnised
between man and women before the court of law.[10]
Succession to the property[edit]
Succession to the property of person married under this Act or customary marriage
registered under this Act and that of their children, are governed by Indian Succession
Act.[11][12]However, if the parties to the marriage are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion,
the succession to their property will be governed by Hindu succession Act.[13]

In 1872 Indian Christian Marriage Act was passed which

determined the category of Christians who are eligible for
marriage. The Act authorized the Central and State
Government to appoint a Register for the purpose. The Act
also made provision for a magistrate who could perform the
same function. As regards the solemnization of marriage Act
provided that.

1. Marriage can be solemnized anytime between 7 A.M. to 7


2. Marriage be solemnized in the church alone.

3. Either of the spouses shall inform the priest and fill up the
form given in schedule-1

4. The marriage proposal should be given the publicity and it

should be notified on the notice board of the church every
Sunday at least three weeks before marriage.

5. If a marriage is solemnized at some private place, the

Register shall be informed thereof and he shall publicize the

6. If either of the spouses is a minor the fact should be brought

to the notice of the Register.
7. In the case of a minor, the consent of the parents is

Dissolution of marriage has been dealt with in section

10 to 17 of this Act Section 10 of the Act provides that
the marriage can be dissolved by the wife on the
following grounds:
1. Forsaking of Christianity by the husband and his entry into
another religion.

2. Desertion of wife by husband or to marry another wife.

3. Sexual immorality by the husband.

4. Raping of wife by the husband and compelling the wife of

sodomy and bestiality.

5. Sadistic behaviour or immorality.

6. Desertion of the wife for two years without reason and

sexual indulgence out of marriage.

Similarly a husband can seek dissolution of the marriage if the

wife is sexually corrupt. Section 17 of the Act provides that
after a thorough examination of the charges levelled either by
the husband or wife and satisfying itself about their veracity
the District Court can grant divorce. However this is subject to
an endorsement by the High court failing which the
dissolution of marriage will not be valid.
Baptism is the act to cleanse former (Hindu) sins and practices, and later live
with Jesus Christ forever. A Hindu youth should not have the wrong
impression that Baptism is a hollow ritual devoid of meaning. The most critical
test to identify an intolerant Christian intended spouse is to ask “What if I
decline Baptism/Christening of our children?” If ultimately only Christian
heritage is expected, then you should wonder why are you willing to tolerate
someone’s intolerance for what you are.
Most Christians who marry a Hindu may be ready to live married life with
equality of both faiths and without imposing his or her Christian dogmas on
the Hindu spouse. However, there may be some other Christians who may
not be ready to tolerate Dharmic traditions and expect Hindu spouse and
children by this marriage to accept "unintended" religious conversion by
Baptism. After conversion, the Hindu marriage is simply a Christian-Christian
marriage performed by a Hindu priest. In most cases, the Hindu Priest and all
celebrating Hindus in the Hindu marriage have no clue about the conversion
of the former Hindu. Such Hindu weddings are devoid of spiritual meaning,
and probably performed simply to save face of the Hindu parents in the Hindu

Army Colonel Charged with Bigamy

In 2012, Col. James Johnson III, a commander of the 173rd Airborne
Brigade Combat team, was charged with 27 counts of bigamy,
adultery, fraud, and forgery. Because all of the charges came after
Johnson had an illicit affair with an Iraqi woman while he was
deployed in Iraq, charges of wrongful cohabitation and failure to
conduct himself as an officer were added.
Johnson’s problems started in 2005, when he met a local woman,
and began helping her family, using government resources. The
woman eventually fled wither family to the Netherlands, where
Johnson made several attempts to visit her, going so far as to falsify
receipts and vouchers in order to be reimbursed for his travel by the
government. According to investigators, Johnson entered into a
sexual relationship with the Iraqi woman, even though they were
both married to other people, and that he had lived with her from
2011 to 2012.
The situation came to the Army’s attention when his American wife,
the mother of his children, alerted officials in 2011, after learning her
husband was living with the woman in Italy. After looking into
allegations, investigators learned that the James Houston Johnson III
and Haveen All Adin Al Atar were actually married in November 2011.
At that time, Johnson’s marriage to Kris Johnson had not been
At his 2012 hearing, 48-year old Johnson pleaded guilty to 15 counts
of bigamy, fraud, and adultery, then he was convicted of two more
charges in June 2012. At sentencing, the panel of five colonels
sentenced Johnson to a fine of $300,000. If he fails to pay the fine,
he will spend five years in prison. Johnson’s wife, realizing that, if her
husband was dishonorably discharged, she and the couple’s two
children would lose their benefits as well. Johnson was allowed to
retire at a reduced rank, his military benefits intact.

India is still more or less a traditional society with rigid caste and religious system.
Caste and Religion play a very important role in the selection of mates in marriages.
To most Indians, it is difficult to think of marriage beyond the own caste. But it is
quite heartening to notice that the force of the caste in marriage selection is gradually
loosening over time as about ten percent of the marriages in India are reported to be
inter-caste marriages. This is a good beginning to completely eradicate the caste
system in India. This change in the marriage pattern in India is a very recent
phenomenon due to the impact of modernization, socio-economic development and
globalization of Indian economy. Various socio-economic and demographic factors
also affect the pattern of inter-caste marriages in India. There is a significant spatial
variation in the pattern of inter-caste marriages. There seems to be higher inter-caste
marriages in socio-economically developed states like Punjab, Haryana, Assam,
Maharashtra and Karnataka in comparison with the socio-economically backward
states of northern India namely Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
It is expected that the incidence of such inter-caste marriages will increase with
degree of modernization and socio-economic development. There is need to glorify,
give media exposure and encourage such marriages in order to reduce the caste barrier
prevalent in Indian society. India will require long time yet to come when the
marriage system in India will be completely fee of caste discrimination.