Hindu Marriage Act

Link to law: http://www.moj.gov.jm/laws/hindu-marriage-act
Published: 1957-12-19

HINDU MARRIAGE 1

THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

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. Mamage 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 Bwk, etc.
19. Unlicensed person performing functions of marriage officer.

21. Regulations.
22. Civil marriages permissible.

20. Disposal of fees.

SCHEDULE

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HINDU MARRIAGE 3

THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT Law
52 of 1957.

[19th December, 1957.1

1. This Act may be cited as the Hindu Marriage Act. Shorttitle.

2. In this Act- 1“tWprefa-
tion.

“Civil Registrar” and “Registrar-General” mean respec-
tively 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.

3.41) It shall be lawful for the Minister or any person Appoint-
duly authorized by him, to grant licences to such persons ~i~~~
being priests of the Hindu religion, as the Minister or T;zF
such authorized 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

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

ment of

A of Part III of the Schedule. Schedule.
c

(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

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4 HINDU MARRIAGE

Marriage
officers
may act in
any part of
the Island

Civil Regis-
trars to ex-
hibit list
of marnage
00ifiCers.

Application
for licence
as marriage
oficer.

Requisites
of valid
marriage.

to a fine not exceeding twenty dollars or imprisonment for
a term not exceeding two months.

4. I t 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. Every Civil Registrar shall keep affixed in a con-
spicuous place in his office a list containing the names and
addresses of all marriage officers licensed under this Act.

6 .41) 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 dwel-
ling 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 organization which may be recognized
by the Minister as hereinafter provided.

(2) If an application is received from any organiza-
tion for recognition as provided in subsection (11, notice
of such application shall be advertised in the Gnzette, 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 organization, notice of such recognition shall be
published in the Gazette.

7. 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;

~~

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HINDU MARRIAGE 5

(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 solemnized by a
marriage officer in accordance with the rites of
the Hindu religion and the provisions of this Act;

(4 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 aocordance with the provisions of section 10;

(f) that the marriage shall be registered in accordance
with the provisions of this Act:

Provided that no marriage shall be contracted
under this Act (or if so contracted and registered
the same shall be null and void nb initio) where
it is shown that either of the parties has, or had
at the time of such contracting and registration,
a wife or husband alive, or where either party is
directly descended from the other, or where the
female is the sister of the male, either by the
full or the half blood, or where the male is the
brother of the female either by the full or the
half blood.

8 .41 ) The age at which a person, being a member of Apelimit
the Hindu religion, is capable of contracting marriage shall ~ 2 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t
be sixteen years.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection
(11, a marriage shall not be solemnized by a marriage officer
if the intended husband (not being a widower) is under

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6 H I N D U MARRIAGE

twenty-one years of age, or the intended wife (not being
a widow) is under eighteen years of age unless the consent
to the marriage of the party who is under age by virtue
of the provisions of this section has been given in accord-
ance with the following provisions of this section, and such
consent is hereby required for the marriage of such party
under age.

(3) The required consent may be given by the father
of the party under age, and if the father is dead by the
guardian or guardians appointed or one of them, and in
case where there is no such guardian then by the mother
of such party so under age, and if the mother is dead then
by such other person as may be appointed for the purpose
by the Minister.

(4) In case the father, mother or a guardian whose
consent to a marriage is required under the provisions of
subsection (3) is absent from the Island or is unable or
refuses to give such consent or is not of sound mind, it
shall be lawful for the party in whose case consent is
required to apply to the Minister to appoint a person,
being a member of the Hindu community, to investigate the
circumstances of the intended marriage, and if after such
investigation it appears to the person so appointed that
there are no reasonable objections to such intended
marriage such person shall so formally declare in writing
and such declaration shall, for the purposes of this Act,
be deemed equivalent to such consent as aforesaid.

(5) A consent shall, when not given in the presence
of a marriage officer, be signified in writing under the
hand of the person giving such consent, and the marriage
officer by whom the marriage is solemnized shall record on
the certificate drawn up by him in accordance with the
provisions of section 10, the fact that the required consent
has been given, the name of the person by whom such
-

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HIND U MARRIAGE 7

consent has been given and whether such consent has been
given in his presence or in writing.

9.-(1) It shall be lawful for any marriage officer without Marriage
previous notice of the intended marriage being given and :Lrriage
without any formality required by the Marriage Act to Officer.
solemnize a marriage between persons belonging to and
professing the Hindu faith or religion, and such marriage
shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be as valid as
if it had been solemnized in conformity with the provisions
of the said Marriage Act.

(2) Subject to the provisions of section 11, if any
persons intermarry otherwise than in accordance with the
provisions of this Act, or if the parties to any marriage
are within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or
affinity according to the Hindu law relating to marriage,
the marriage of such persons shall not be registered under
the provisions of this Act.

lO.-(l) Immediately after a Hindu marriage has been ~~~~i~~~
solemnized by a marriage officer, he shall enter in a book
to be supplied by the Registrar-General and kept by the
marriage officer for that purpose (hereinafter referred to
as the “Hindu Marriage Certificate Book”) a certificate of
the said marriage in the Form B of Part III of the Schedule. Schedule.
Such certificate shall be signed by the parties to the
marriage, by two credible witnesses of the said marriage,
and by the marriage officer who shall also enter up in the
counterfoil the prescribed particulars and sign the same :

Provided that if any of‘ the parties of the marriage cannot
sign, he shall affix his mark in the presence of the marriage
officer and of the two witnesses.

(2) Every marriage officer shall, within seven days
of a Hindu marriage being solemnized by him, transmit
to the Registrar-General the certificate referred to in sub-
section (1).

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8 H I N D U MARRIAGE

(3) Upon receipt of the said certificate, the
Registrar-General, if it appears to him that the requisites
of a valid Hindu marriage have been complied with and
that the consent of every person required by this Act to
consent to such marriage has been obtained, shall counter-
sign the certificate so forwarded and cause the same to be
registered.

(4) (a) Whenever it is alleged that a marriage
officer has duly solemnized a marriage under this Act but
has failed to comply with any of the provisions of sub-
sections (1) and (2), any party to such alleged marriage may
apply by summons to a Judge in Chambers for an order
directing the Registrar-General to cause such marriage to
be registered.

(b) Such summons shall be served upon the
Registrar-General, upon the other party to the alleged
marriage (when not an applicant) and upon the marriage
officer (if alive and in the Island). Upon the hearing of
such summons the Judge may summon such person as is
likely in .his opinion to give material evidence in the
matter and shall hear and determine the matter in a
summary manner. If the Judge is satisfied from the
evidence that the alleged marriage was duly solemnized,
that the requisites of a valid Hindu marriage have been
complied with, and that the consent of every such person
required by this Act has been obtained, he shall make the
order prayed for and award such costs as he may deem fit.

(c) Any such order shall set out the essential
particulars contained in the Form B of Part 111 of the
Schedule (including the names of the witnesses) and any
other matter which the Judge may deem necessary to give
effect to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2); and such
order shall be dealt with by the Registrar-General as if
it were a certificate transmitted to him for registration by

Schedule.

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HINDU MARRIAGE 9

a marriage officer in accordance with the provisions of
subsection (3).

(5 ) Every marriage officer who-
(a) fails to comply with the provisions of subsection

(1); or
(6) without reasonable cause or excuse, fails to trans-

mit to the Registrar-General any certificate in
accordance with the provisions of this section; or

(c) solemnizes a Hindu marriage without proof that
the persons whose consent is required by this Act
have given such consent,

shall be liable on summary conviction before a Resident
Magistrate to a h e not exceeding twenty dollars.

11.-(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, any Rcgistra-
Hindu marriage which was entered into prior to the
19th December, 1957, between Hindus domiciled in the ;?;etinto
Island on the date of such marriage and which marriage commence-

ment of the is still subsisting and is valid according to the Hindu law Act
relating to marriage may be registered under this Act in
accordance with the provisions hereinafter contained.

(2) The parties to such prior marriage shall attend
before a marriage officer and shall make and sign a
declaration in the Form C of Part I11 of the Schedule. khedde.
Such declaration shall be signed in the presence of the
marriage officer by two credible witnesses who shall identify
the parties:

Provided that if any of the parties to such prior marriage
cannot sign his name he shall affix his mark in the
presence of the two witnesses.

(3) The marriage officer shall then, in proper cases,
immediately fill in the date and sign the certificate on the
said Form C and shall transmit it to the Registrar-General
within seven days.

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10 HINDU MARRlAGE

(4) The fee prescribed for solemnizing a marriage
shall apply in respect of the taking of the declaration of
a marriage entered into prior to the 19th December, 1957.

(5) If it appears to the Registrar-General that the
requisites of a valid Hindu marriage were complied with
at the date it was contracted and that such prior marriage
is still subsisting he shall cause the declaration aforesaid to
be registered.

Piliiig of

tration~*

by the

General.
s ~ ’ ~ ~ ~ ~ l ~ .

12.41) The Registrar-General shall file in his office all
certificates and declarations of Hindu marriages which shall
be transmitted to him in accordance with the provisions of
this Act, and shall forthwith cause to be registered in a
book in the Form D of Part ID of the Schedule to be
kept in his office for that purpose (hereinafter referred to
as the ‘‘Hindu Marriage Register Book”) the particulars
of every such certificate and declaration, and every entry so
made shall be dated on the day on which it is so registered
and shall be signed by the Registrar-General.

(2) Upon such registration in the office of the
Registrar-General and upon payment of the prescribed
fee, the Registrar-General shall issue and transmit to the
parties to the marriage a certificate of registration of the
marriage in the Form E of Part m of the Schedule. In the
case of a marriage solemnized after the 19th December,
1957, he shall send a notification of the fact and date of
registration to the marriage officer by and before whom
the marriage was solemnized, who shall thereupon enter
such particulars in the space provided for the parties in
the counterfoil of the Hindu Marriage Certificate Book.

certificate
and regis-

marnage

Registrar-

Legitimacy 13. The children of any Hindu marriage registered in
accordance with the provisions of this Act shall be
legitimate, and in the case of children of a prior marriage
registered by virtue of sections 11 and 12 who were born

of children.

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HlNDU MARRIAGE 11

before the date of such registration, the date of legitimation
shall be the date of registration of such prior marriage
under the sections aforesaid :

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not
operate to alter the status of any child deemed legitimate
by virtue of the provisions of any other enactment.

14. The Legitimation Act shall apply mufatis mufundis, Application
to persons legitimated by reason of registration under the $,fi2ma
provisions of this Act.

15. The Registrar-General may correct any clerical error corrPction
in any certificate or declaration of Hindu marriage filed :;A;$''
in his office, and in the Hindu Marriage Register Book, zo$y
and shall authenticate every such correction by his signature
and the date of such correction.

16.41) Upon payment of the prescribed fees, the Searchesin Registrar-General shall at all reasonable times allow Register copies of and
searches to be made in the Hindu Marriage Register entries.
Book and shall give certified copies therefrom.

(2) Any copy certified under the hand of the
Registrar-General shall be deemed to be a correct copy
of any entry in the Hindu Marriage Register Book and
shall be admissible as evidence of the registration of the
marriage to which it relates in all Courts or before any
person now or hereafter having by law or consent of the
parties authority to hear, receive and examine evidence.

17. All prescribed applications, certificates and entries in use of
the Hindu Marriage Register Book shall be in the English language E lish
language.

18. Every person who unlawfully or maliciously destroys ~~~~~~~i~~
or injures, or causes to be destroyed or injured, any Register g$$$'g
Book or any licence, certificate, declaration, entry or state- Booketc.

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12 HINDU MARRIAGE

ment mentioned in this Act, or any certified copy of trans-
lation thereof respectively, shall be guilty of felony, and
liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment with or
without hard labour for a term not exceeding three years.

marriage
officer.

Disposal
of fees.

Regula-
tions.

Unlicensed
person per- forming marriage officer-
functions of

19. Any person who without being duly licensed as a

(U) knowingly and wilfully solemnizes any marriage
purporting to be a marriage under the provisions
of this Act; or

(b ) knowingly and wilfully makes or signs any certi-
ficate or signs any declaration required by this
Act to be made or signed by a marriage officer,

shall be guilty of felony and liable on conviction on indict-
ment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a
term not exceeding three years.

20. AI1 fees received by the Registrar-General under this
Act shall be paid by him into the Consolidated Fund.

21.41) The Minister may make regulations generally
for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may,
without prejudice to the generality of the power thereby
conferred, p re sc r ibe

(a) the form of any certificate, declaration, Register
or other document required for the purposes of
this Act;

(b) the conditions under which Registers or other
documents may be inspected;

(c) the fees to be paid in respect of anything required
or permitted to be done under the provisions of
this Act, and provision for their remission on
account of the poverty of the parties or for other
good reason:

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HINDU MARRIAGE 13

Provided that, until varied or revoked by any such
regulations, the regulations contained in the Schedule shall Schedule
be in force.

22. Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to civil
prevent or disable any Hindu from contracting a marriage ~~~~&
according to the general law of the Island.

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14 HINDU MARRIAGE

SCHEDULE (Section 21)

PART I

General
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Hindu Marriage Regula-

2. In these Regulations the expression “Act” means the Hindu

3. The fees set out in Part I1 shall be payable in respect of the

4. The Forms set out in Part IJJ shall be the forms to be used in

tions, 1957.

Marriage Act.

matters therein specified.

respect of the matters therein specified.

PART n
Fees

(a) For solemnizing a marriage (such fee to be payable

(b) For issuing a certificate of registration of marriage 25c.
(c) For every search in Hindu Marriage Register Book 1Oc.

(d)

to the marriage officer) ... ... ... 2sc.

For every certified copy of an entry in Hindu Mar-
riage Register Book ... ... ... 25c.

PART (Section 3)

FORM A

THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT

Licence to be a Marriage Oficer
A.B.. being a priest of the

the Hindu religion, and who resides at in
is hereby licensed as a marriage the parish of

officer for the purposes of the Act.

( S g d ) . .....................................................
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18 HINDU MARRIAGE

1

N

[The inclusion of this page is authorized by L.N. 480119731

HINDU MARRIAGE

FORM E

THe HwDu MARRUGE Am

Certifkate of Registration of Marriage

This is to certify that a marriage .
*solemnized by a Marriage Officer
tentered into
on the day of I 19

I of and

19

(Section 12)

, between
of

, was duly registered in accordance with the
provisions of the Act, on the
19 .

day of

...............I ....................................
Signature of Registrar-General

'To be deleted in the case of registration of civil marriage in existen- prior
to the Hindu Marriage Act.
tTo be deleted where mamage i s solemnized under the Act.

Fhe inclusion of this pagc is authorized hy L.N. 480119731
Read Entire Law on www.moj.gov.jm