THE FOREIGN MARRIGE ACT, 1963

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The Indian society reflects on marriage as a communal responsibility, correlation among families, long-established value and considers awfully essential in human life. The Indian Parliament has enacted scores of legislation dealing with marriages in India under diverse communities. India also supports marriage with a foreigner with certain conditional requirements.

The Foreign Marriage in India is a recognized and endorsed kind of marriage having legal back up under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1963. The central intention for enacting the legislation is on the way to facilitate marriage of Indian citizens as of outside India. Hence foreign marriage is validated in India under the Act of 1963. The Act contains four chapters and thirty sections. The Act embraces of a Schedule dealing with the manner of notice to be presented by parties to the marriage. The major contents of the legislation include condition, notice, formalization of marriage, validity of marriage, registration etc.

‘The foreign country’ according to the Act is the realm outside India comprising of a shop situated in the territorial waters of that state. The imperative branch of the Act is the power of Central Government to appoint diplomatic or consular officers as Marriage officers. The Act permits solemnization of marriage between a foreigner and Indian citizen in front of a marriage officer. The marriage can be performed in a foreign country with certain stipulations. The marriage under the Act is authorized only if the man and woman have completed 21 and 18 years respectively. The Act expressly invalidates bigamy and declared it as an offence punishable under Indian Penal Code. The marriage cannot be sanctified by a lunatic or idiot and should not be within ruled out relationships.

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The parties should furnish a notice to the Marriage Officer regarding residence of the parties where a marriage is proposed to be formalized. The Act stipulates the need of at least one of the parties residing in the district where the marriage is solemnized. The Marriage officer shall publish the notice in India including the country in which the parties are located in. The Act grants power to the officer for repudiating the marriage (i) if the marriage is not in conformity with foreign law where the marriage is acted upon; or (ii) where the marriage is conflicting with international law. The foreign marriage conducted the same as the requirements of the Act shall be officially authorized and legal.

The registration of foreign marriages in India is enunciated in Chapter 3 of the Act. The registration of the foreign marriage is permitted if the marriage officer is convinced that the marriage among one Indian citizen and a foreigner has been formalized abroad in harmony with law of that nation. In the Act, matrimonial reliefs shall be governed by Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the jurisdiction to award relief falls with the District Court. Where a citizen of India disregards any of the provisions of the Act or acquires fake declaration for the purpose of formalizing marriage, he shall be penalized. Moreover, the Marriage officer is also liable to be punished if he solemnizes a marriage infringing the provision of the Act.

The fundamental law with regard to foreign marriage is that India recognizes a marriage solemnized in a foreign nation if its provisions are similar to that of Indian law and this shall be validated in Indian Courts. In order to avoid impediments the Act deliberately declares that any other foreign marriage not solemnized under the Act shall not be called in question in any circumstance. The Central Government may make rules with regard to powers of marriage officer, marriage certificates, inquiry, publication of marriage, time and place of marriage, inspection of books etc.

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Hence, the Foreign Marriage Act can be deemed as well-designed legislation as of India is concerned. But there exist an argument that overseas marriage in India is a prolonged course of action. Occasionally, the rationale of the legislation cannot be fulfilled due to this extended procedure. If this downside may perhaps be resolved Foreign Marriage Act, 1963 happen to be a functional legislation.