• Marriage- An NRI And A Foreigner

  • Marriage Between an NRI, of Indian Origin, & a foreigner: Under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969.

    A couple, one of whom is an NRI, of Indian Origin & other a foreigner, may marry before the Court, i.e. the Registrar of Marriages in India and/ or abroad. Such marriages are governed by The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969. On foreign land, the Diplomatic & Consular Officers are conferred with the powers of a marriage officer, and they therefore hold in the foreign land itself the Courts for performing such marriages. Some legal formalities, amongst many others, got to be completed by the Couple who intends to marry, before the marriage officer performs their marriage. Such formalities are thus:

    Step One

    Notices of intended 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 Specified Form 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.

    Step Two

    Marriage Notice Book and publication

    The Marriage Officer shall keep the notices with the records of his office and shall also forthwith enter a true copy of every such notice in a book prescribed for that purpose, to be called the Marriage Notice Book, and such book shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times, without fee, by any person desirous of inspecting the same.

    The Marriage Officer shall cause every such notice to be published by affixing a copy thereof to some conspicuous place in his office.

    Where either of the parties to an intended marriage is not permanently residing within the local limits of the district of the Marriage Officer to whom the notice has been given the Marriage Officer shall also cause a copy of such notice to be transmitted to the Marriage Officer of the district within whose limits such party is permanently residing, and that Marriage Officer shall thereupon cause a copy thereof to be affixed to some conspicuous place in his office.

    Step Three

    Objection to marriage

    Any person may, before the expiration of thirty days from the date on which any such notice has been published object to the marriage on the ground that it would contravene one or more of the conditions specified in the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

    After the expiration of thirty days from the date on which notice of an intended marriage has been published the marriage may be solemnized, unless it has been previously objected to. 

    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.

    Step Four

    Procedure on receipt of objection

    If an objection is made to an intended marriage the Marriage Officer shall not solemnize the marriage until he has inquired into the matter of the objection and is satisfied that it ought not to prevent the solemnization of the marriage or the objection is withdrawn by the person making it; but the Marriage Officer shall not take more than thirty days from the date of the objection for the purpose of inquiring into the matter of the objection and arriving at a decision.

    Step Five

    Declaration by parties and witnesses

    Before the marriage is solemnized the parties and three witnesses shall, in the presence of the Marriage Officer, sign a declaration in the Specified Form, and the declaration shall be countersigned by the Marriage Officer.

    Step Six

    Place and form of solemnization

    The marriage may be solemnized at the office of the Marriage Officer or at such other place within a reasonable distance therefrom as the parties may desire, and upon such conditions and the payments of such additional fees as may be prescribed.

    The marriage may be solemnized in any form which the parties may choose to adopt. Provided however, it shall not be complete and binding on the parties unless each party says to the other in the presence of the Marriage Officer and the three witnesses and in any language understood by the parties,- "I (A) take thee (B), to be my lawful wife (or husband)".

    Step Seven

    Certificate of marriage

    When the marriage has been solemnized the Marriage Officer shall enter a certificate thereof in the Specified Form 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.

    On a certificate being entered in the Marriage Certificate Book by the Marriage Officer, the certificate shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence of the fact that a marriage under this Act has been solemnized and that all formalities respecting the signatures of witnesses have been complied with.

    Appeal

    If the Marriage Officer upholds the objection and refuses to solemnize the marriage, either party to the intended marriage may, of within a period thirty days from the date of such refusal, prefer an appeal to the District Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the Marriage Officer has his office, and the decision of the District Court on such appeal shall be final, and the Marriage Officer shall act in conformity with the decision of the Court.

    Powers of Marriage Officers in respect of inquiries

    For the purpose of any inquiry, the Marriage Officer shall have all the powers vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:

    1. summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
    2. discovery and inspection;
    3. compelling the production of documents;
    4. reception of evidence on affidavits; and
    5. issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses;and any proceeding before the Marriage Officer shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Sec.193 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860).

    If it appears to the Marriage Officer that the objection made to an intended marriage is not reasonable and has not been made in good faith he may impose on the person objecting costs, by way of compensation not exceeding one thousand rupees, and award the whole, or any part thereof to the parties to the intended marriage, and any order of costs so made may be executed in the same manner as a decree passed by the District Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the Marriage Officer has his office.

    Procedure on receipt of objection by Marriage Officer abroad

    Where an objection is made a Marriage Officer abroad in respect of an intended marriage and the Marriage Officer, after making such inquiry into the matter as he thinks fit, entertains a doubt in respect thereof, he shall not solemnize the marriage but shall transmit the record with such statement respecting the matter as he thinks fit to the Central Government, and the Central Government, after making such inquiry into the matter and after obtaining such advice as it thinks fit, shall give its decision thereon in writing to the Marriage Officer who shall act in conformity with the decision of the Central Government.

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