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How Can A Hindu Marry from other Religion

Marriage between two persons, who are not Hindus, it would be a case of special marriage. In this regard, reference may be made to provisions of Special Marriage Act (43 of 1954)
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As noticed above, marriage under Hindu Marriage Act can be solemnized only between two Hindus. Question arises as to what steps are to be taken for solemnization of a marriage between two persons, who are not Hindus or when one of them is Hindu and the other is from other religion. It would be a case of special marriage. In this regard, reference may be made to provisions of Special Marriage Act (43 of 1954).

Law (Section 4 of Special Marriage Act) provides as to conditions relating to solemnization of special marriages. It provides that a marriage between any two persons may be solemnized under this Act, if at the time of the marriage the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:-
(a) neither party has a spouse living. In other words, in case, you are a male, you should not have a spouse i.e., your wife, living at the time of your marriage with the other girl. Similarly, if you are a female, you should not have a husband living at the time of your marriage with another person. Suppose, you are going to solemnize marriage while your spouse from the earlier marriage is alive and your earlier marriage has not been set aside. In such a situation, your later marriage would be no marriage in the eye of law.
(b) neither party-
(i) is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind; or

(ii) though capable of giving a valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children; or

(iii) has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity;

(c) the male has completed the age of twenty-one years and the female the age of eighteen years; So if you are bridegroom, at the time of your marriage, you must have completed the age of 21 years; if you are bride, at the time of your marriage, you must have completed the age of 18 years.

(d) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship. A man and any of the persons mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule and a woman and any of the persons mentioned in Part

II of the said Schedule are within the degrees of prohibited
relationship.

Schedule 1

1. Mother.
2. Father's widow (step-mother).
3. Mother's mother.
4. Mother's father's widow (step grand-mother).
5. Mother's mother's mother.
6. Mother's mother's father's widow (step great grand-mother).
7. Mother's father's mother.
8. Mother's father's father's widow (step great grand-mother)
9. Father's mother.
10. Father's father's widow (step grand-mother).
11. Father's mother's mother. '
12. Father's mother's father's widow (step great grand-mother).
13. Father's father's mother.
14. F~ther's father's father's widow (step great grand-mother).
15. Daughter.
16. Son's widow.
17. Daughter's daughter.
18. Daughter's son's widow.
19. Son's daughter.
20.Son's son's widow.
21. Daughter's daughter's daughter.
22. \)augn'ter's a.augn'ter's son's widow.
23. Daughter's son's daughter.
24. Daughter's son's son's widow.
25. Son's daughter's daughter.
26. Son's daughter's son's widow.
27. Son's son's daughter.
28. Son's son's son's widow.
29. Sister.
30. Sister's daughter.
31. Brother's daughter.
32. Mother's sister.
33. Father's sister.
34. Father's brother's daughter.
35. Father's sister's daughter.
36. Mother's sister's daughter.
37. Mother's brother's daughter.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this Part, the expression "widow" includes a divorced wife.

Explanation I of section 2 provides that expression relationship includes,-
(a) relationship by half or uterine blood as well as by full blood;
(b) illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate;
(c) relationship by adoption as well as by blood.

It has been so provided to prevent physical deformation of the race or evil consequences on account of the marriage between the prohibited relationship.

Special Marriage Act further lays down that where a custom governing at least one of the parties permits of a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized, notwithstanding that they are within the degrees of prohibited relationship. Before a custom is accepted, it must stand the following tests:
(i) that such custom has been continuously and uniformly observed for a long time among those members;
(ii) that such custom must be certain and not unreasonable or opposed to public policy; and
(iii) that such custom, if applicable only to a family, has not been discontinued by the family.

It is also noteworthy that where the marriage is solemnized in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both parties must be citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends.

Explanation I of section 2 provides that expression relationship includes-

(a) relationship by half or uterine blood as well as by full blood;
(b) illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate;
(c) relationship by adoption as well as by blood.

It has been so provided to prevent physical deformation of the race or evil consequences on account of the marriage between the prohibited relationship.

Special Marriage Act further lays down that where a custom governing at least one of the parties permits of a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized, notwithstanding that they are within the degrees of prohibited relationship. Before a custom is accepted, it must stand the following tests:
(i) that such custom has been continuously and uniformly observed for a long time among those members;

(ii) that such custom must be certain and not unreasonable or opposed to public policy; and
 
(iii) that such custom, if applicable only to a family, has not been discontinued by the family.

It is also noteworthy that where the marriage is solemnized in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, both parties must be citizens of India domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends.

Steps To Be Taken Before Special Marriage Is Solemnized

Notice to Marriage Officer

Section 5 of the Act provides that when a special marriage is intended to be solemnized under this Act, the parties to the marriage shall give notice thereof in writing in the form specified in the Second Schedule to the Marriage Officer 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. So whenever you intend to solemnize a special marriage, both the parties to the marriage are to give notice to the Marriage Officer.

In turn, the Marriage Officer is to get the notice published as per law.

Object of publication of notice is to invite objections, if any, to the solemnization of the proposed marriage. In case of no objection, on expiry of 30 days period from the date of publication of notice, parties may solemnize marriage. In case any objection has been received, same is to be disposed of, and only thereafter parties may solemnize marriage.

Declaration to be Submitted by Parties

Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties and three witnesses are to sign a declaration in the form (given below) specified in the/Third Schedule to this Act, in the presence of the Marriage Officer, and the declaration is to be countersigned by the Marriage Officer. (Section-Il)

Declaration to be made by the Bridegroom

I, name of bridegroom, hereby declare as follows:-
1. I am at the present time unmarried (or a widower or a divorcee, as the case may be).
2, I have completed years of age.
3. I am not related to the other party (the bride) within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
4. I am aware that, if any statement in this declaration is false, and if in making such statement I either know or believe it to be false or do not believe it to be true, I am liable to imprisonment and also to fine.

(signatures)

Declaration to be made by the Bride

I, name of bride hereby declare as follows:-
1. I am at the present time unmarried (or a widow or a divorcee, as the case may be).
2. I have completed years of age.
3. I am not related to the other party (the bridegroom) within the degree of prohibited relationship.
4. I am aware that, if any statement in this declaration is false, and if in making such statement I either know or believe it to be false or do not believe it to be true, I am liable to imprisonment and also to fine.
(signatures)

To be Submitted by Three Witnesses under their Signatures Signed in our presence by the above-named parties. So far as we are aware there is no lawful impediment to the marriage.
(signatures)

Place and form of Solemnization of Marriage

As to where a special marriage may be solemnized, section 12 provides that the marriage may be solemnized at the office of the Marriage Officer, or at such other place within a reasonable distance there from as the parties may desire, and upon such conditions and the payment of such additional fees as may be prescribed.

The marriage may be solemnized in any form which the parties may choose to adopt.

Section 12 further provides that the marriage shall not be complete and binding on the parties unless each party says to the other in the presence of the Marriage Officer and the three witnesses and in any language understood by the parties:
"I, (A), take thee (B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)".

Certificate of Marriage

Section 13 provides as to issuance of Certificate. When the marriage has been solemnized, the Marriage Officer is to enter a certificate and such certificate shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and the three witnesses.

Such a certificate shall be deem~ to be conclusive evidence of the solemnization of a marriage under this Act.

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