Caste and religion are integral parts of Indian society. These two systems create a watertight compartment between communities and by this gap, bring division, hatred, and tension among various social groups.
The basic problem in Indian society is not of class division but of caste division. Court wedding is a major issue in India. Marriage within the same caste and same religion is the rule of land of Indian society.
To think of marriages between different castes and different religions is a difficult and socially unacceptable proposition. To every such marriage, social stigma is attached, making it difficult for the couples to survive.
Recently the process of modernization, westernization, democratization, and development has brought lots of positive changes in Indian society.
The major objective of the present paper is to understand the social and legal issues involved in inter-caste and inter-religious Court Marriage in India.
WHY REGISTER YOUR MARRIAGE IN INDIA?
In India court marriages are legally performed under the Special Marriage Act 1954. Marriages are one of the most special moments in our lives, we engage ourselves in different important rituals and ceremonies of the event certainly, we forget to make legitimate in front of the law.
India is known for its diversity, cultures, and deeply performed religious activities which make it a more special and complicated structure furthermore, mandatory to follow a notable set of rules.
TYPE OF COURT MARRIAGE:-
Here are a few types of court marriage in India:-
> MARRIAGE WHEN BOTH PARTIES ARE THE SAME CASTE:-
A marriage between two parties and both belongs to the same caste. In the presence of Two witnesses, the couple can easily marry in the courtroom in front of the registrar. But there is some condition in marrying in the same caste that is they are not involved in direct relation like blood relation.
> MARRIAGE WHEN BOTH PARTIES ARE INTER-CASTE:-
An Inter-caste marriage is a marriage where one of the spouses belongs towards the Scheduled Caste and the other spouse belongs to a Non-Scheduled Caste.
The marriage ought to be substantial according to the law and properly enlisted under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It is essential to submit an affidavit of the marriage for the grant.
> MARRIAGE IN CASE BOTH THE PARTIES BELONG TO INTER-RELIGIONS:-
The marriage performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is a civil contract, and accordingly, there need be no rites or ceremonial requirements.
Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, the marriage is solemnized and registered irrespective of the religion, under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
> COURT MARRIAGE OF AN INDIAN AND A FOREIGN NATIONAL:-
A marriage between parties one of whom at least is a citizen of India may be solemnized under the Special Marriage Act. This special marriage is done before a Marriage Registrar in India or a Marriage Officer in a foreign country.
GOVERNMENT PROVIDES SCHEME FOR THE INTER-CASTE MARRIAGE:-
- An amount of Rs. 25,000/-, for each marriage, would be released to the District Authorities for organizing a befitting program in which the incentive would be handed over to the couple.
- The incentive for a legal inter-caste marriage shall be Rs.2.50 lakh per marriage. On receipt of a Pre-stamped receipt on Rs 10 Non-Judicial Stamp paper.
- The eligible couples would receive 1.50 lakh of the incentive amount through RTGS / NEFT to the joint bank account. The balance would be kept as Fixed Deposit for three years.
- The Scheme would provide an incentive to 500 such marriages in one year. The physical target for each state is fixed in proportion to the percentage share of the SC population, as per Census 2011.
CONDITION FOR COURT MARRIAGE:-
- To marry in court, the minimum age qualification for the bride and groom is 18 and 21 respectively.
- Moreover, if the spouse of a person is dead or if the person has divorced their partner then the spouse can marry another person according to his or her choice.
- An Indian individual can marry even with a foreigner. A court marriage allows Indians to marry foreign individuals if they are not married in their own countries.
- A court marriage is conducted in the presence of the marriage officer. Also, people of any religion and caste can marry each other provided that they are not related as per the forbidden degrees of the wedding.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR COURT MARRIAGE:-
- Four Passport Size Photographs of Bride and Groom.
- Residential Proof (Voter Card / Passport / Ration Car / Driving License / Bank Passbook / Lease Deed / Rent Deed) of Groom and Bride.
- Date of Birth Proof (Municipal Corporation Certificate, X or XII Examination Certificate, Passport, PAN Card, birth certificate) of the Bride and Groom.
- In Case Of Divorcees: Divorce Decree Certificate Must Be Produced.
- In Case Of Widow And Widower: Municipal Death Certificate Of Concerned Person Must Be Produced.
- If any party is a Foreign Citizen or holding a foreign Passport or is having foreign residential address – Certificate of Present Marital Status of the party / No Impediment Certificate / NOC from concerned Embassy and Valid VISA.
- Two Witnesses (Both should be major)
THE TIME INVOLVED IN COMPLETION OF COURT MARRIAGE:-
The entire process, starting from giving notice, takes maximum up to 60 days. Provided that if no objection comes up within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice.
If any objection comes up then the maximum inquiry period allotted for the Marriage Officer is 30 days.
After the Marriage Officer upholds the objection the appeal can be raised in the District Court within 30 days from the date of the decision by the Marriage Officer.
ADVANTAGE OF REGISTRATION:-
1- It is economical- It is generally less expensive, easy to plan, and recognized by law.
2- It proves marriage legal in India- It stimulates in foreign countries too and can be conducted between an Indian and a foreigner.
3- It promotes inter-religion marriages- A special act for court marriage gives legal rights to marry individuals of different caste/religions/communities.
4- It gives civil liberty- Freedom of religion which is recognizable in the eyes of law as well as society.
Still, confused? Your Aapka Advocate will direct you through every legal advice necessary for your further marriage concerns.