REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE
Write a short note on “Registration of Hindu marriages” under Section 8 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
After the enactment of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the nature of marriage has changed to a considerable extent. Before the enactment of thus act, Hindu marriage was considered purely a sacrament but after the enactment of this act, Hindu marriages become contractual in nature.
According to Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, to solemnize a valid marriage, parties have to fulfil certain statutory conditions which have been mentioned in section 5 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. According to this section, parties must be major and must be capable of giving a valid and free consent and must not have a spouse living at the time of solemnizing a marriage.
These conditions are almost same which are required to make a contract. Because to make a valid contract it is required that parties must be major, of sound mind and not disqualified by law.
According to some statutory provisions, it is required for parties to register these contracts. It is not essential to register all the contracts. But according to Registration Act, 1908, some contracts are required to be registered.
In the same way Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, provides some provisions which deals with the concept of Registration of Hindu Marriages. Section 8 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, states about Registration of marriages.
According to this section, the State Government has power to make provisions regarding registration of marriages and the State government also have power to make a mandatory provisions regarding registration of marriages. If State government makes these provisions compulsory and any person does not follow these provisions then according to this section that person shall be punished with fine which may be Rs. 25.
According to this section, if parties do not get their marriage registered, their marriage will not be affected by non- registration. The marriage will remain a valid marriage.
The Law Commission of India in its 211th report also recommended enactment of a “Marriage and Divorce Registration Act” to be made applicable in the whole of India and to all the citizens irrespective of their religion and personal law and without any exceptions.
Moreover, National Commission for Women also recommended that the registration process should be simple and free. This Commission recommended that family courts should not entertain the cases concerned with marriages, if they are not duly registered.
According to the legislature, the main aims of registration of marriages are to check the bigamy, to check the forced marriages, to prove marriage before competent authorities and moreover to restrain the child marriages.
The main question arises here is, “whether after enactment Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, it is compulsory for parties to get the marriages registered.“
In the leading case of Seema vs Ashwani Kumar [(2006) 2 SCC 578], The Supreme Court gave directions to Central and State Governments to make compulsory provisions regarding the registration of marriages because in most of the states registration of marriage is not compulsory and there is no uniform law in the country. In this judgment the Court said, the registration itself cannot be a proof of a valid marriage and would not be the determinative factor regarding validity of a marriage yet it has a great evidentiary value before the court of law.
Hence, it can be concluded that according to this judgment, it is not compulsory for parties to get their marriage registered and if they do not get it registered, it will not affect the validity of their marriage. But, if the Government makes any provision in the future regarding the compulsory registration of marriages, then according to that provisions, parties have to get their marriages registered.