1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Appointment of Hindu marriage officers

   4   Marriage officers may act in any part of the Island

   5   Civil Registrars to exhibit list of marriage officers

   6   Application for licence as marriage officer

   7   Requisites of valid marriage

   8   Age limit and consent of parents

   9   Marriage by marriage officer

   10   Marriage certificate

   11   Registration of marriages entered into prior to commencement of the Act

   12   Filing of certificate and registration of marriage by the Registrar. General

   13   Legitimacy of children

   14   Application of Legitimation Act

   15   Correction of clerical errors in Register Book

   16   Searches in register and copies of entries

   17   Use of English language

   18   Destroying or injuring Register Book, etc

   19   Unlicensed person performing functions of marriage officer

   20   Disposal of fees

   21   Regulations

   22   Civil marriages permissible




[Date of Commencement: 19th December, 1957]

Law 52 of 1957.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Hindu Marriage Act

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "Civil Registrar" and "Registrar-General" mean respectively Civil Registrar of Marriages and the Registrar-General of Marriages under the Marriage Act;

   "marriage officer" means a person licensed as a Hindu marriage officer in accordance with section 3.

3   Appointment of Hindu marriage officers

   (1) It shall be lawful for the Minister or any person duly authorised by him, to grant licences to such persons being priests of the Hindu religion, as the Minister or such authorised person may in his discretion think fit, to be marriage officers, and without assigning any reason for so doing cancel any such licence.

   (2) A licence under this section shall be in the Form A of Part III of the Schedule.

   (3) The grant or the cancellation of any such licence shall be notified in the Gazette and shall have effect from the date of such publication.

   (4) Whenever a licence has been cancelled, the holder thereof shall return it to the Registrar-General forthwith after notice of such cancellation has been forwarded to such holder by letter signed by or on behalf of the Minister and addressed to his usual or last known place of abode or business. If he fails to do so he shall be liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding twenty dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months.

4   Marriage officers may act in any part of the Island

   It shall be lawful for any person to whom a licence has been granted under section 3 to act as a marriage officer in any parish of the Island.

5   Civil Registrars to exhibit list of marriage officers

   Every Civil Registrar shall keep affixed in a conspicuous place in his office a list containing the names and addresses of all marriage officers licensed under this Act.

6   Application for licence as marriage officer

   (1) Any Hindu priest who desires to be licensed as a marriage officer shall make application in writing to the Registrar-General. Such application shall state the dwelling place of ’the applicant, and shall be accompanied by a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be licensed as a marriage officer from the President and Secretary of the East Indian Progressive Society or any Hindu organisation which may be recognised by the Minister as hereinafter provided.

   (2) If an application is received from any organisation for recognition as provided in subsection (1), notice of such application shall be advertised in the Gazette, and anyone who wishes to object to such recognition being given shall do so in writing to the Registrar-General within one month of the publication of such notice.

   (3) If the Minister thereafter accords recognition to any such organisation, notice of such recognition shall be published in the Gazette.

7   Requisites of valid marriage

   The requisites of a valid Hindu marriage under this Act are-

   (a)   that each of the parties shall belong to and profess the Hindu faith or religion;

   (b)   that both parties shall, as regards age, mental capacity and otherwise, be capable of contracting marriage;

   (c)   that the parties shall not be within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity and affinity according to the Hindu law relating to marriage;

   (d)   that the marriage shall be solemnised by a marriage officer in accordance with the rites of the Hindu religion and the provisions of this Act;

   (e)   that the parties, understanding the nature of the contract, shall freely consent to marrying one another in the presence of the marriage officer who solemnizes the marriage, and shall sign or mark a certificate drawn up by the said officer in accordance with the provisions of section 10;

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