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Special Marriage Act UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • The Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order ruling declining to give protection to a couple on the ground that a marriage between a Muslim man and Hindu woman will not be valid, even if registered under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954, reflects an incredible misunderstanding of the law.

  • The judge examined Muslim law treatises to conclude that a Muslim cannot marry an “idolatress or fire-worshipper”, as such a marriage would be irregular.

Special Marriage Act and Provisions

  • The Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 is an Indian law that provides a legal framework for the marriage of people belonging to different religions or castes.

  • It governs a civil marriage where the state sanctions the marriage rather than the religion

  • The applicability of the Act extends to the people of all faiths, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, across India

Recognition of Marriage:

  • The Act provides for the registration of marriages, which gives legal recognition to the marriage and provides a number of legal benefits and protections to the couple, such as inheritance rights, succession rights, and social security benefits.

  • It forbids polygamy and declares a marriage null and void if either party had a spouse living at the time of the marriage or if either of them is incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind

Written Notice:

  • Section 5 of the Act specifies that the parties must give written notice to the Marriage Officer of the District and that at least one of the parties must have lived in the district for at least 30 days immediately before the date of such notification.

  • Section 7 of the Act allows any person to object to the marriage before the expiration of 30 days from the date of the notice's publication.

Age Limit:

  • The minimum age to get married under the SMA is 21 years for males and 18 years for females

Differentiation from Personal Laws:

  • Personal laws, such as the Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, require either spouse to convert to the religion of the other before marriage.

  • However, the SMA enables marriage between inter-faith or inter-caste couples without them giving up their religious identity or resorting to conversion.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Special Marriage Act UPSC NOTE
Special Marriage Act UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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