Is It Obligatory to Register a Hindu Marriage in India?

Though the registration of a Hindu Marriage has not been made obligatory, circumstances force people to go for it.

Is it obligatory to register a Hindu Marriage in India?

The marriage of a Hindu is governed by the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

A Hindu male on attaining the age of 21 and a Hindu female on attaining the age of 18 are eligible to get married.

Once the marriage of a Hindu male and female is solemnized, they should get it registered at the register office within whose jurisdiction the marriage was solemnized, before the completion of one month from the date of the marriage, by paying the requisite charges and by duly completing other formalities of registration. However, the registrar can condone the delay in registering the marriage up to 5 years, provided the delay is explained with valid reasons. After registering the marriage, the registrar will duly issue a marriage certificate to the newly married couple.

But the non-registration of a solemnized Hindu marriage will not become invalid. While the Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, specifically provides for the compulsory registration of the marriages between parties, the Hindu Marriage Act has not made it obligatory.

Though it is not obligatory for the newly married Hindu couple to register their marriage, there are umpteen numbers of circumstances that force them to go for it:-

1)In case of going abroad, so as to complete the Visa formalities, a Hindu couple should necessarily submit a marriage certificate duly obtained from a registrar.

2) If a matrimonial dispute arises between the married couple and if any one of them tries to burke the factum of marriage or simply disown his or her spouse, the marriage certificate will come in handy to establish the factum of marriage. In other words, it helps to prevent the miscarriage of justice.

3) If the newly married couples are lovers, sometimes their parents may not support their marriage. In extreme cases, any one of their parents may even disown the marriage and force their son or daughter to marry another person. In such cases, the marriage certificate issued by the registrar alone will save the marriage of the lovers, besides serving as an incontrovertible proof for their marriage.

4)If a woman has been cheated and she has become a victim of bigamous or polygamous marriage, the registration of her marriage alone will help her to establish the fraud committed upon her, besides punishing the culprit.

5) Marriage certificates will also help to establish the paternity of a child, besides helping the destitute women to claim maintenance for her as well as for her children from their estranged husbands.

6)The registration of marriage will not only serve as a permanent record for the concerned couple but will also help the posterity to trace their family history even after a century.

Though the registration of Hindu marriages has not been made obligatory, considering the advantages gained by the people, they should make it a habit.



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Posted on Oct 5, 2011