Special Marriage Act 1954
The Special Marriage Act 1954 is an Indian law that provides a legal framework for marriage between two individuals of any religion or faith. The act was enacted to provide a special form of marriage for those who do not wish to follow traditional religious customs or have inter-faith marriages.
This act allows couples to marry and register their marriage under the act, without requiring any religious ceremony or affiliation. The act provides a uniform code of marriage for all Indian citizens irrespective of their religion, caste, or community.
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Special Marriage Act 1954 Procedure
Under the Special Marriage Act 1954, couples who wish to marry and register their marriage have to follow certain procedures:
Notice of Intended Marriage
The couple needs to file a Notice of Intended Marriage with the Marriage Registrar of the district where at least one of the parties has resided for a minimum of 30 days prior to filing the notice.
Publication of Notice
After receiving the notice, the Marriage Registrar will publish it in the prescribed manner, allowing for any objections to be raised.
Objections and Inquiry
If any objections are raised, the Marriage Registrar will investigate and inquire into them. If the objections are found to be invalid, the marriage can proceed.
Solemnization of Marriage
The marriage can be solemnized after the expiry of one month from the date of publication of the notice, provided no objections are raised or the objections are dismissed.
Registration of Marriage
Once the marriage has been solemnized, the Marriage Registrar will enter the details of the marriage in a register and issue a certificate of marriage to the couple.
The Special Marriage Act also lays down provisions for marriage between persons of different religions, court marriages, and marriages between Indian citizens residing abroad.
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Problems in Special Marriage Act
While the Special Marriage Act of 1954 provides a legal framework for couples to marry and register their marriage without any religious affiliation, there are some problems associated with its implementation:
Inter-faith or civil marriages are still viewed with suspicion and often face social stigma in Indian society. This can make it difficult for couples to register their marriage and live together without facing societal pressure.
Objections and Delay
The process of registering a marriage under the Special Marriage Act involves publishing a notice of intended marriage and allowing for objections to be raised. This can lead to delays and create difficulties for couples who may face objections from family or community members.
Lack of Awareness
Many people are not aware of the provisions of the Special Marriage Act and its procedures. This can lead to confusion and make it difficult for couples to register their marriage.
The procedures for registering a marriage under the Special Marriage Act can be complex and involve multiple steps. This can make it difficult for couples who may not have the required documents or face language barriers.
The validity of marriages registered under the Special Marriage Act has been challenged in courts on various occasions, leading to uncertainty and legal complications for couples who have registered their marriage under the act.
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Difference between Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act
The Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act are two different laws that govern marriage in India. The main differences between these two laws are:
|Difference||Hindu Marriage Act||Special Marriage Act|
|Applicability||The Hindu Marriage Act applies only to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist communities.||While the Special Marriage Act is applicable to all citizens of India irrespective of their religion, caste or community.|
|Procedure||Under the Hindu Marriage Act, marriage is a religious sacrament, and the ceremony is conducted according to the religious customs of the parties involved.||In contrast, the Special Marriage Act provides a civil marriage framework, where couples can register their marriage without any religious ceremony.|
|Divorce||The Hindu Marriage Act provides specific grounds for divorce such as adultery, cruelty, and desertion.||While the Special Marriage Act provides only one ground for divorce, i.e., irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.|
|Registration||The Hindu Marriage Act does not require the registration of marriages.||While the Special Marriage Act mandates the registration of marriages.|
|Family Law||The Hindu Marriage Act provides for several family law provisions, including adoption, maintenance, and guardianship of children.||Which are not covered under the Special Marriage Act.|
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Special Marriage Act UPSC
The Special Marriage Act is an important topic for the UPSC exam as it is part of the Indian legal framework governing marriages. Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam need to be familiar with the provisions of the act, its procedures, and its relevance in contemporary India. The topic is included in the UPSC Syllabus under Indian Polity and Governance, and knowledge of the act can help aspirants in answering questions related to social issues and family law in the UPSC exam. StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching and UPSC Mock Test cover the Special Marriage Act as part of their curriculum to help aspirants prepare comprehensively for the exam.
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