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    What Is Special Marriage Act? Law Under Which Many Celebs Solemnised Their Vows

    Swara Bhasker and Fahad Ahmad recently got married in a traditional ceremony in Delhi. Previously, the two registered their marriage under the Special Marriage Act. What is the Special Marriage Act, its applicability, conditions and requirements? ...
    Updated at - 2023-03-16,18:15 IST
    special marriage act swara bhasker

    Swara Bhasker announced her marriage to partner Fahad Ahmad last month. The couple got their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Bhasker, sharing pictures from her court marriage on Twitter, hailed the law for giving people the right to love, choose their life partner and get married. Not just Swara and Fahad, many celebrities in the past have solemnised their marriage under this act including couples like Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan according to reports. 

    For the unversed, here is an explainer on the Special Marriage Act.

    The Special Marriage Act, 1954 of the Parliament of India allows citizens of India and all Indian nationals abroad, irrespective of their religion or faith followed by either of the parties to register for a civil marriage. The act finds its roots back in the 19th century when a legislation for civil marriage was proposed. It was first introduced in the year 1872 to permit people to marry anyone they want to under a new civil marriage act. The act was then revised in the year 1954 with three key objectives - to provide registration for certain marriages, to provide special form of marriage in some cases and to provide for divorce.

    Eligibility - Special Marriage Act

    special marriage act women religion

    • Anyone can apply for the Special Marriage Act irrespective of their religion. 
    • Indian nationals living abroad are also eligible to get married under this act. 
    • Couples from different religions can get wed under this law. 
    • The act includes citizens within the territory of India and also extends to couples who are Indian nationals and living abroad. 

    What All Is Required To Get Married Under Special Marriage Act?

    special marriage act requirements

    • No rites or ceremony is required for a marriage performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. The marriage is a civil contract. 
    • The parties need to file a notice of intended marriage to the Marriage Registrar of their district. At least one of the parties should have resided in the district for a period of not less than 30 days. 
    • 30 days after sending the notice of the intended marriage, marriage may be solemnised if it hasn't been objected to by a third party. 
    • The marriage under this special act is solemnised at the specified marriage office by the marriage registrar. 
    • Both the parties have to state, "I, (A), take thee (B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)" during the oath ceremony in the presence of three witnesses and the marriage officer. 

    Conditions For Marriage Under Special Marriage Act

    • Both the parties should be in an existing valid marriage. 
    • The groom should be 21 years old and the bride should be at least 18 years old. 
    • Both the parties should be competent enough on the mental front to give consent for marriage. 
    • Parties under prohibited relationships aren't eligible for this marriage act. 

    Following the court marriage, a certificate is issued to the couple by the Registrar of Marriage appointed by the Government of India. 

    Divorce Under The Special Marriage Act

    One can file for a divorce in the District Court under this act. However, this is possible only if the marriage was solemnised under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. There are different instances under the special marriage act following which the parties can terminate their bond.





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