|The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872|
|Imperial Legislative Council|
|Citation||Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872|
|Enacted by||Imperial Legislative Council|
|Assented to||18 July 1872|
|Commenced||18 July 1872|
|Status: In force|
The Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 is an act of the Parliament of India regulating the legal marriage of Indian Christians. It was enacted on July 18, 1872, and applies throughout India, excluding territories such as Cochin, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the act, a marriage is legitimate if at least one of the parties is Christian. An ordained minister of any church in India, a clergyman of the Church of Scotland, a marriage registrar or a special licensee may get an aspiring couple married under the act. The marriage performer issues a marriage certificate. This certificate is recorded with the Registrar of Marriage (who is appointed by the government). As is common in other Indian marriage acts, the minimum age is 21 for the groom and 18 for the bride.
The marriage ceremony must occur between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., unless the marriage performer secures special permission. The wedding may take place in a church; however, in cases where there is no church within five miles, an appropriate alternative location may be chosen.
The marriage is legitimate only under the following conditions:
Christian marriage in India can be dissolved under the Indian Divorce Act of 1869 (under Section X) under three conditions:
A woman married under The Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 can seek dissolution of her marriage under the Indian Divorce Act of 1869
Any individual who performs a marriage ceremony when not appropriately licensed by the authorities or recognized by the church can be punished with a term of imprisonment of between seven and ten years.
Under the special marriage act, any woman of any religion can marry or remarry without satisfying any religious ceremony.