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INDIAN CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 15 of 1872


  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Part IV
  • Part V
  • Part VI. Marriage of Indian Christians
  • Part VII. Penalties
  • Part VIII
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 15 of 1872

Preamble

THE INDIAN CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE ACT, 1872

[Act, No. 15 of 1872]

[AS ON 1957]

[18th July, 1872]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the solemnization in India of the marriages of Christians.

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to the solemnization in India of the marriages of persons professing the Christian religion; It is hereby enacted as follows:

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

Extent.{Subs. by the A.O.1950 for the second para., as amended by the A.O.1937 and A.O.1948 [NOTE: The Act does not extend to the State of Manipur, Vide Act 30 of 1950, Section 3 (2A) and Sch. as amended by Act 68 of 1956, section.2.]} [It extends to the whole of India {Subs by Act 3 of 1951,Section3 and Sch., for " except Part BStates ".} [except {Subs by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956, for " the States ".} [the territories which, extent. immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in the States] of Travancore-Cochin, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir].]

{The commencement cl. rep. by Act 16 of 1874, Section 1 and Sch., Pt. I.}

Section 2. Enactments [Repealed]

Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938), s.2 and Sch., Pt. I.

Section 3. Interpretation-clause

In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,

"Church of England" and "Anglican" mean and apply to the Church of England as by law established ;

"Church of Scotland" means the Church of Scotland as by law established ;

"Church of Rome" and "Roman Catholic" mean and apply to the Church which regards the Pope of Rome as its spiritual head ;

"Church" includes any chapel or other building generally used for public Christian worship ;

{Ins. by Act 3 of 1951, s.3 and Sch.} ["India" means the {Subs by the Adaptation of Laws (NO.2) Order, 1956, for "territory comprised in the States".} [territories] to which this Act extends.]

"minor'' means a person who has not completed the age of twenty-one years and who is not a widower or a widow ;

{The definition of "Native State" rep. by the A.O.1937.}

the expression "Christians" means persons professing the Christian religion ;

{Subs. by the A.O.1950, for the original definition.} [and the expression "Indian Christians" includes the Christian descendants of natives of India converted to Christianity, as well as such converts];

{Ins. by Act 6 of 1886, s.30.} ["Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages" means a Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages appointed under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, 1886.] (6 of 1886).

Part I

Section 4. Marriages to be solemnized according to Act

Every marriage between persons, one or both of whom is {Ins. by Act 12 of 1891, section.2 and Schedule. II.} [or are] a Christian or Christians, shall be solemnized in accordance with the provisions of the next following section; and any such marriage solemnized otherwise than in accordance with such provisions shall be void.

Section 5. Persons by whom marriages may be solemnized

Marriages may be solemnized in {Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s.3 and Sch., for "Part A States and Part C States".} [India].

(1) by any person who has received episcopal ordination, provided that the marriage be solemnized according to the rules, rites, ceremonies and customs of the Church of which he is a Minister ;

(2) by any Clergyman of the Church of Scotland, provided that such marriage be solemnized according to the rules rites, ceremonies and customs of the Church of Scotland ;

(3) by any Minister of Religion licensed under this Act to solemnize marriages ;

(4) by, or in the presence of, a Marriage Registrar appointed under this Act ;

(5) by any person licensed under this Act to grant certificates of marriage between {Subs. by the A.O.1950, for "Native".} [Indian] Christians.

{Subs. by Act 2 of 1891, s.1, for the original s.6 }

Section 6. Grant and revocation of licenses to solemnize marriages

The State Government, so far as regards the territories under its administration, {The words "and the Central Government, so far as regards any Indian State" as amended by the A.O.1937 for the original words, were rep. by the A.O.1950.} may, by notification in the Official Gazette {The words "or in the Gazette of India, as the case may be" rep.by the A.O.1937.}, grant licenses to Ministers of Religion to solemnize marriages within such territories {The words "and State, respectively," rep. by the A.O.1950.} and may, by a like notification revoke such licenses.]

Section 7. Marriage Registrars

The State Government may appoint one or more Christians, either by name or as holding any office for the time being, to be the Marriage Registrar or Marriage Registrars for any district subject to its administration.

Senior Marriage Registrar.-

Where there are more Marriage Registrars than one in any district, the State Government shall appoint one of them to be the Senior Marriage Registrar.

Magistrate when to be Marriage Registrar.-

When there is only one Marriage Registrar in a district, and such Registrar is absent from such district, or ill, or when his office is temporarily vacant, the Magistrate of the district shall act as, and be, Marriage Registrar thereof during such absence, illness, or temporary vacancy.

Section 8. Marriage Registrars in Indian States [Repealed]

Rep. by the A.O.1950.

Section 9. Licensing of persons to grant certificates of marriage between Indian Christians

The State Government {The words "or (so far as regards any Indian State) the Central Government " as amended by the A.O.1937 for the original words, rep. by the A.O.1950.} may grant a license to any Christian, either by name or as holding any office for the time being, authorizing him to grant certificates of marriage between {Subs. by the A.O.1950, for " Native ".} [Indian] Christians.

Any such license may be revoked by the authority by which it was granted, and every such grant or revocation shall be notified in the Official Gazette.

Part II

Section 10. Time for solemnizing marriage

Every marriage under this Act shall be solemnized between the hours of six in the morning and seven in the evening :

Exceptions.- Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to

(1) a Clergyman of the Church of England solemnizing a marriage under a special license permitting him to do so at any hour other than between six in the morning and seven in the evening, under the hand and seal of the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese or his Commissary, or

(2) a Clergyman of the Church of Rome solemnizing a marriage between the hours of seven in the evening and six in the morning, when he has received a general or special license in that behalf from the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese or Vicariate in which such marriage is so solemnized, or from such person as the same Bishop has authorized to grant such license, license, {Ins. by Act 2 of 1891, section.2} [or

(3) a Clergyman of the Church of Scotland solemnizing a marriage according to the rules, rites, ceremonies and customs of the Church of Scotland].

Section 11. Place for solemnizing marriage

No Clergyman of the Church of England shall solemnize a marriage in any place other than a church {Ins. by section.3, ibid.} [where worship is generally held according to the forms of the Church of England],

unless there is no {Ins. by section.3, ibid.} [such] church within five miles distance by the shortest road from such place, or

unless he has received a special license authorizing him to do so under the hand and seal of the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese or his Commissary.

Fee for special license.-

For such special license, the Registrar of the Diocese may charge such additional fee as the said Bishop from time to time authorizes.

Part III