Special Marriage Act does not bar Indians to marry foreigners

Kerala High Court: In a
case before the Court where the petitioner, an Indian Citizen, was prohibited
from marrying a Canadian Citizen on the ground that the provisions of Special
Marriage Act, 1954 cannot be invoked in the instant case as one of the party to
the marriage is a foreigner, a bench of K.V. Chandran J directed the 3rd
respondent (Marriage Officer) to accept the application of the petitioner and
permit her to contract the marriage as intended by her, as the Special Marriage
Act, 1954 does not bar the solemnization of marriage between an Indian and a

The Court read
Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act and observed that solemnization of the
marriage between “any two persons” could not be prohibited in the present case as
the petitioner satisfies the conditions stated in sub-clauses (a) to (d) of the
said provision. The Court noted that the word “person” used in Section 4 of the
Act does not indicate that either one of the parties or both the parties should
be citizens of India.
The Court further noted that there is no requirement of informing about the
said marriage to a Marriage Officer appointed by the Government of India in its
embassy at Canada
as Section 6(3) is not applicable in the instant case, because one of the
parties is a foreigner and does not have permanent resident in India. Accordingly,
the Court permitted the petitioner to contract the marriage as intended by her
and directed the Marriage Officer to register the marriage under the Act. [Devika Raj v. State of Kerala, 2015 SCC OnLine Ker 8320 decided on 01.06.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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