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Registration of marriage

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What is the procedure for registration of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act? Registration of marriage is a mode of proof of marriage. On adducing the registration certificate of marriage, it may be presumed by the law that marriage is deemed to has taken place.

There was no such provision in Hindu personal law before 1956. After codification of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 (HMA), it came into force. Section 8 of the HMA provides that for the purpose of facilitating the proof of Hindu marriages, the State Government may make rules for registration of marriage.

Section 8 does not make registration of marriage compulsory but is advisable that marriage must be registered within 15 days of solemnization of marriage. For the registration of marriage presence of both parties before registrar is not necessary if the registrar doubts the identity of one of the party only then it is needed.

Section 8 of HMA lays down that state government may make a rule for the keeping of marriage register and for compulsory entry of all or some special marriages therein. Section 8(5) of HMA especially lays down that failure to register a Hindu marriage shall in no way affect its validity.

Under the HMA marriage between two Hindus can only be registered. When only one party to the marriage is Hindu then such marriage shall be registered under the Special Marriage Act.

Marriage without the performance of valid ceremonies is invalid therefore its registration is also null and void. Mere registration does not validate an otherwise invalid marriage.

Effect of registration of marriage   

  • No foreign embassy or consulate grants visa to a spouse without proof in the form of a marriage certificate. 
  • In the case of divorce, legal separation, alimony, or custody of children, courts may insist on seeing the marriage certificate.
  • It is evidence in case of a second marriage. 
  • It is useful for reasons of succession to property.

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