Eligibility for Court Marriage: Understanding the Legal Criteria

Court marriage, a legal union between two individuals, necessitates adherence to specific eligibility criteria to ensure its validity and legality. Let’s delve into the comprehensive requirements of court marriage in Ghaziabad:

1. Marital Status:

Before entering into a court marriage, it is imperative that both parties confirm they have not been living as husband and wife. This stipulation ensures that the court marriage marks the beginning of their marital relationship, free from any prior entanglements.

2. Age Requirement:

According to legal statutes, the bride must attain a minimum age of 18 years, while the groom must be at least 21 years old. This age requirement aligns with the Indian Majority Act, which establishes the legal age for marriage.

3. Mental Capacity:

Mental soundness is a prerequisite for court marriage. Both parties must demonstrate that they are of sound mind, devoid of any mental illness or disorder that might impair their ability to comprehend the nature of the marriage contract or provide valid consent.

4. Consent:

Genuine consent forms the bedrock of any marriage, including court marriage. Both parties must be capable of giving their consent freely and willingly at the time of marriage. This ensures that the union is entered into without any external pressure or coercion.

5. Prohibited Relationships:

The parties intending to enter into a court marriage should not be within the degree of prohibited relationship as delineated by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Prohibited relationships encompass close familial ties such as siblings, parent-child, and certain other close relatives. However, court marriage may still be permissible within a prohibited relationship if the customs or personal laws of the parties permit it.

Case Study:

Let’s consider the hypothetical scenario of Rahul and Priya, who opt for court marriage. Rahul, aged 23, and Priya, aged 20 of Ghaziabad, have never cohabited before and are both mentally sound. They provide their consent to the marriage without any duress or coercion.

Upon further scrutiny, it is revealed that Rahul and Priya are cousins, which technically falls within the degree of prohibited relationship under the Hindu Marriage Act. Despite this, they are keen on proceeding with the court marriage, citing their custom, which allows marriage between cousins.

In this instance, Rahul and Priya meet the age requirement, exhibit mental capacity, and provide valid consent. Although their relationship falls within the prohibited degree, their decision to proceed with court marriage aligns with their cultural practices, underscoring the importance of upholding legal criteria while respecting personal beliefs and customs.

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