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Special marriage act 1954

The marriage provides for

  • Inter religion marriage
  • Inter caste marriage
  • Other special marriage
  • To provide divorce

Conditions for special marriage
  • In order for the marriage to be accepted the following conditions to be fulfilled. These are
  • Both the male and female to be married shall be single and are not married
  • Both male and female should be mentally sound and they should not suffer from insanity and or epilepsy
  • Male should have completed 21 years and female should have completed 18 years
  • Neither the party is within prohibitive relation. For example Mother, sister, sister’s daughter etc

Areas or jurisdiction of the act

The act is applicable to the whole of territory of India except Jammu and Kashmir and all Indian nationals in foreign countries

The process of marriage:

When a marriage is intended to be solemnized under this Act, the parties of the marriage shall give notice thereof in writing in the Form specified in the Second Schedule to the Marriage Officer of the district in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given.

Notice book:

The marriage officer will maintain a notice book with the record of the marriage to be conducted

The marriage officer will also paste the particulars of the marriage in the notice board in a visible place. If the both the parties do not have a permanent address on in that area then the marriage officer can transfer the marriage record to the place where they have permanent address

Both the parties should wait for 30 days after giving their consent to the marriage officer.

Objection of marriage:

(1) Any person may, before the expiration of thirty days from the date on which any such notice has been published under sub-section (2) of Sec. 6, object to the marriage on the ground that it would contravene one or more of the conditions specified in Sec.4.

(2)After the expiration of thirty days from the date on which notice of an intended marriage has been published under sub-section (2) of Sec. 6, the marriage may be solemnized, unless it has been previously objected to under sub-section (1).

(3) The nature of the objection shall be recorded in writing by the Marriage Officer in the Marriage Notice Book, be read over and explained if necessary, to the person making the objection and shall be signed by him or on his behalf.

The marriage officer can uphold the objection to marriage after due enquiry and explanation.

Power to appeal against the rejection of marriage:

Both the parties can appeal against the objection to marriage in the district court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the marriage officer has his office and decision of the district court is final.

Fine for false or wrong objection:

If the marriage officer finds that the objection is false and misleads the marriage officer he can impose a fine, a maximum of 1000 rupees which will be given to the parties wholly or partly.

Witness to marriage:

Before the marriage is solemnized the parties and three witnesses shall, in the presence of the Marriage Officer, sign a declaration in the Form specified in the Third Schedule to this Act, and the declaration shall be countersigned by the Marriage Officer

Place and form of marriage:

Marriages maybe solemnized at marriage officer place or any place desired by the parties with the additional payment fee.

Certificate of marriage:

After the marriage has been solemnized, Marriage Officer shall enter a certificate thereof in the Form specified in the Fourth Schedule in a book to be kept by him for that purpose and to be called the Marriage Certificate Book and such certificate shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and the three witnesses.

Lapse of marriage notice:

The marriage notice given by the intended parties will lapse after 3 calendar months if it is not solemnized within that period due some reason.

Registration of marriage:

Any marriage celebrated before and after this act can be registered by the marriage officer in the respective marriage officer if the following conditions are fulfilled

  • a ceremony of marriage has been performed between the parties and they have been living together as husband and wife ever since
  • neither party has at the time of registration more than one spouse living
  • neither party is an idiot or a lunatic at the time of registration
  • the parties have completed the age of twenty-one year at the time of registration
  • the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship

Consequences of marriage under this act:

Effect on the member of undivided family:

The marriage solemnized under this Act of any member of an undivided family who professes the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion shall be deemed to effect his severance from such family.

Rights and disabilities not affected by Act:

Subject to the provisions of Sec. 19, any person whose marriage is solemnized under this Act, shall have the same rights and shall be subject to the same disabilities in regard to the right of succession to any property as a person to whom the Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850 (21 of 1850), applies.


A petition for divorce either from husband or wife is presented in the district court on the ground that the respondent-

  • Has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or
  • Has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately proceeding the presentation of the petition; or
  • Is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for seven years or more for an offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860); or
  • Has since the solemnization of the marriage treated the petitioner with cruelty; or has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind, and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

Social welfare scheme for the inter caste marriage by Tamil Nadu Government

Name of the Scheme Anjugam Ammaiyar Ninaivu Intercaste Marriage
Objectives of the Scheme Objectives of the Scheme is to abolish caste and community feelings based on birth and wiping out the evils of untouchability by encouraging inter-caste marriage.
Quantum of Assistance; a) Rs.15,000/- (Rs.10,000/- as NSC and Rs.5,000/- by way of Demand Draft or Cheque) in case a person belonging to the Forward Community marries a person belonging to B.C / M.B.C. b) Rs.20,000/- (Rs.10,000/- as NSC and Rs.10,000 by way of Demand Draft or Cheque) in case one of the spouse belongs to SC/ST
To whom the benefit is due Inter caste married couples
Eligibility Criteria  
a) Educational qualification Nil
b) Income limit No income limit
Age limit Between 18 and 30 years of the bride.
Other criteria  
Time limit for sending Application Within two years from the date of marriage
Officers to be contacted District Social Welfare Officer Extension Officers (SW)
Certificates to be enclosed with the application Marriage Invitation.
Marriage Registration Certificate Community Certificate of the bride & the Bridegroom Age Certificate of the bride
Probable time limit for processing applications Within 15 days of receipt of application
Grievances if any to be reported to At the District level - District Collector/ District Social Welfare Officer At the State Level - Director of Social Welfare, Chennai -5. Phone No.28545728