Family Law - I

Christian Marriage Act

This Act consolidates the law related to the solemnizing of Indian Christian Marriage. It was enacted on  18th July 1872. This law extends to the whole of India except Cochin, Manipur and  Jammu & Kashmir. The Christian Marriage Act 1872 contains 88 Sections in 8 Parts and 4 Schedules. Before the enactment of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 the law relating to the solemnisation in India of the marriage of persons professing the Christian religion was guided by two British Acts, 14 and 15 Vict. C. 40 and 58 Geo. III C.84 and two Indian Acts, Acts 5 of 1862 and 5 of 1865.

The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

Christian Marriage Act


The Persons By Whom Marriages May Be Solemnized

  1. A Christian Marriage can be solemnized by any person who has received episcopal ordination. And it should be solemnized according to the rules of the Church of which he is a minister.
  2. by any Clergyman(a male priest especially in a church) of the Church of Scotland given  that such a marriage is solemnized according to the rules, rites, ceremonies, and customs of the Church of Scotland
  3. can be solemnized by a Minister of Religion licensed under this Act
  4. can be solemnized in the presence of a Marriage Registrar appointed under this Act
  5. by any person licensed under this Act to grant certificates of marriage between Indian Christians

Time & Place At Which Marriages May Be Solemnized

  1. Time for solemnizing marriage

  • All marriage under this Act shall be solemnized between the stretch of 6 am in the morning and 7 pm in the evening
  1. The place for solemnizing marriage

  • No Clergyman of the Church of England shall solemnize a marriage in any place other than a church unless there is no church within five miles distance by the shortest road from such place.
  • Or unless he has received a special license that authorizes him to do so under the hand and seal of the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese or his Commissary.

Marriages Solemnized By Ministers Of Religion Licensed Under This Act

  1. Notice of intended marriage 

    Whenever a marriage is intended to the solemnized one of the persons intending marriage shall give notice in writing. The notice should be in accordance with the form contained in the First Schedule and to be sent to the Minister of Religion whom he/she desires to solemnize the marriage. The notice shall therein include the following details:

    1. the first name, last name and the profession  of each of the persons intending to get married
    2. the place of residence of each of them
    3. the time during which each has lived there
    4. the church or area dwelling in which the solemnizing of the marriage is to take place.
  2. Publication of such notice

    Once the notice is delivered to the Minister of Religion, he shall affix the notice in some conspicuous part of the Church.

  3. Sending a copy of the notice to Marriage Registrar when one party is a minor

    When one of the parties intending to get married is minor, the Minister is required to send the notice to the Marriage Registrar of the district within 24 hours. And if there are more than 1 Registrar of such district he should send it to the Senior Marriage Registrar.

Marriage Of Indian Christians

  1. On what conditions marriages of an Indian Christians may be certified-
    • The age of the man who wants to be married will not be under twenty-one years of age and the age of the woman who wants to be married shall not be under 18 years of age.
    • Neither of the parties intending to be married shall have a wife or husband still living.
    • Two credible witnesses are to be present at the time of marriage.

Solved Question on Christian Marriage Act

Q 01. In which year was the Christian Marriage Act enacted

  1. 18 July 1872
  2. 28th July 1882
  3. 28th July 1872
  4. 18th July 1972
Ans. The correct answer is option ‘A’.

Q 02. The Christian Marriage Act law extends to the whole of India except:

  1. Kerala, Manipur and  Jammu & Kashmir
  2. Cochin, Kerala and  Jammu & Kashmir
  3. Kerala, Manipur, and Cochin
  4. Cochin, Manipur and  Jammu & Kashmir
Ans. The correct answer is option ‘D’.
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