Muslim Marriage Act

The Muslim Marriage Act was drafted into the Indian legal system in the year 1954. The Act regulates the solemnization of marriages among the Muslim community in India. According to this Act, both the groom and the bride are to consent to the marriage of their free wills. A formal, binding contract verbal or on paper is considered integral to a religiously valid Muslim marriage and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the bride and groom. This Act applies to all Indian citizens, whether residing in India or abroad. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is excluded under the ambit of this Muslim Marriage Act, though residents domiciled in other states but residing in Jammu and Kashmir would qualify for these provisions. In this article, we will look at the Muslim Marriage Act, 1954 in detail.
Requisites of Marriage

Requisites of a valid Marriage under the Muslim Marriage Act are explained in detail below:

    Both the parties (groom & bride) should belong to and professes the Muslim faith or religion
    Each of the parties should as regards age, mental capacity and otherwise, be capable of contracting marriage
    The bride and groom will not by reason of anything contained in the Islamic law relating to marriage be prohibited from marrying one another
    As per this act, the Muslim bride and groom, understanding the nature of the contract, will freely consent to marry one another
    Muslim marriage will be affected by or before a person appointed as a marriage officer under the provisions of the Muslim Marriage Act
    Marriage will be registered in accordance with the provisions of the Muslim Marriage Act

Non-Applicability of Act

The Muslim Marriage Act is not applicable to following the type of marriages. In any case, the marriages contracted and registered under this act, the same will be null and void ab initio.

    This act is not applicable if either of the parties has or had a wife or husband alive at the time of contracting and registering the marriage
    Muslim Marriage Act is not applicable if either party is directly descended from the other
    If the bride is a sister of the male either by the full or the half-blood, marriage won’t be solemnised under the Muslim Marriage Act
    If the groom is a sister of the female either by the full or the half-blood, marriage won’t be solemnised under the Muslim Marriage Act

Note: If any person intermarries than in accordance with the provisions Muslim Marriage Act, the marriage of such persons will not be registered under the provisions of this Act.
Age Limit and Consent

The age of a person, being a member of the Muslim community, is capable of contracting marriage will be sixteen years. If whom being a male is less than twenty-one years of age or being a female is under eighteen years of age (not being a widower or widow), the consent to such marriage will be registered with the presence of following persons:

    Father if living
    If the father is dead, the guardians lawfully appointed or of one of them
    If there is no guardian, then of the mother
    If there is no mother living, then of such other persons as may be appointed by the Minister

The above-mentioned persons will be certified in writing by the marriage officer by or before whom the marriage is effected upon the certificate of such marriage will be issued in accordance with the provisions of this Muslim Marriage Act.
Muslim Marriage Certificate

Immediately after a Muslim marriage has been affected by or before a marriage officer, he/she will enter in a book to be supplied by the Registrar-General and kept by the marriage officer. For that purpose, a Muslim Marriage Certificate in the prescribed format of the marriage will be signed by the marriage officer and by the parties to the marriage and by two credible witnesses, and such marriage officer will enter up in the counterfoil the prescribed particulars and sign the same.

Every marriage officer within seven days of a Muslim marriage being affected by or before him, transmit to the Registrar-General the Muslim Marriage Certificate. Upon receipt of this Certificate the Registrar General, if it appears to him that the requisites of a valid Muslim marriage have been complied with and that the consent of any person required by this Act to consent to such marriage has been obtained, will cause the same to be registered.

Every marriage officer without reasonable cause or excuse fails to transmit to the Registrar-General any certificate in accordance with the provisions of this act will be guilty of an offence against this Act and will be liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding twenty dollars.

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