Question 1: Who all can marry under this act?
Ans. People currently in India and Indian nationals on foreign land.
Question 2: What is the age eligibility?
Ans. The bride shall be no less than 18 years and the groom shall not be less than 21 years of age.
Question 3: Does the religion of either party hold any importance?
Ans. No, the marriage under this act is above and beyond religious constraints.
Question 4: When would I explicitly need to register my marriage this Act?
Ans. When the marriage laws of either party’s religion do not allow for the marriage of the other party because of their religion or caste or any such discrepancy. However, the marriage may even be registered under SMA,1954 even if the parties are capable of getting married under their religious law.
Question 5: What are the conditions for a valid marriage under this act?
Ans. As per Ch. II Sec. (4) of SMA,1954 any two persons can marry under this act provided: –
- Neither party should have a living husband or wife. Widows and widowers can still get married under this act, divorcees as well.
- Neither party should be-
- Unable to give a consent that is valid because of unsoundness of mind.
- Or suffering from a mental disorder which is either of the kind or is to the extent that makes the person unfit for the purpose for procreation of children.
- Or suffering from incurable insanity.
- Parties should not be in degrees of prohibited relationship provided that their custom allows for the same if they are.
- Age of groom shall be 21 and bride shall be 18.
Question 6: What are the requirements to be fulfilled to be married under SMA,1954?
Ans. As per Ch. II Sec. (5) of SMA, the particulars need to be fulfilled during the performance of such marriage are: –
- An expression the intention of parties to the marriage through a notice shall be filed with the Marriage Registrar of the district in the prescribed performa in which either party has lived in for at least 30 days before the dates preceding to the date of filing.
- From the date of such filing, any person related to the parties can express his objection regarding the same. If the registrar finds the cause reasonable, he can cancel the marriage.
- The marriage shall be solemnized after the expiry of 30 days from the date of issuing of such notice and before two months from the issuing.
- During the marriage the parties need to give their consent to the marriage in front of the marriage registrar and three witnesses in a signed declaration form.
Question 7: What is the position regarding succession under this act?
Ans. The Indian Succession Act, 1952 will be referred to regarding the same.
Question 8: What is the position of divorce under the SMA,1954?
Ans. The parties to marriage are not entitled to file for a divorce in the first year of their marriage. This however is subject to the restriction that the petition will me maintainable only if the petitioner has been shown to have suffered exceptional hardships or respondent has shown exceptional depravity on their part. Furthermore, while the parties to the marriage may or may not belong to different religions, the grounds for divorce shall be similar. These are as follows:
- The respondent got involved in sexual relation of voluntary nature with anyone other than the spouse.
- The petitioner was deserted by the respondent deserted for two years or more continuously.
- The respondent got sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment of or more.
- The petitioner got treated with cruelty by the respondent.
- The respondent is of unsound mind incurably.
- The respondent is suffering from a venereal disease.
- The respondent is suffering from leprosy of an incurable form.
- There is no knowledge of respondent being alive for a period of 7 years or more.
- The respondent got convicted for outraging the modesty of a female or rape.
- The wife can also, on the ground of non-resumption of cohabitation for more than 1 year since the passing of decree or order of maintenance, get a divorce as per the restitution of her conjugal rights.
The Author, Mayank Hasija, is a 2nd Year Student of BBA.LLB (H) at University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU. He is currently interning with LatestLaws.com