Will I face any problems in the future if I sign as a witness for court marriage?


Under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, inter religion marriages can be attained without abiding by the personal laws. The witness comes to the picture after the couple file a notice of intended marriage in the specified form to the marriage registrar of the district stating the intention to get married. At least one other parties to the marriage has to reside for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such a notice is given. The court checks all the documents to ascertain whether they are indeed eligible to get married as per the law.

Now, the witness comes into the picture once no objection is received against the marriage and the bride and the groom are at the marriage registrarÕs office to sign a declaration accepting each other as their lawfully wedded husband and wife respectively. The declaration has to sign in presence of three witnesses before the registrar which is further countersigned by the registrar of marriages.

Merely observing the procedure is not enough, the witness has to sign the documents and also provide his/ her PAN card and residential proof. The registrar will enter the details in the marriage certificate register after the signing of the declaration by the bride, groom, witnesses and registrar. He/ she will then issue a certificate of marriage which is exclusive proof of solemnisation of marriage.

Yes, you can sign if you have attained majority. There will no be any probles you will face regarding this in the future. A witness will not invite any legal problem. But if the bride or the groom is a minor as per the law or not duly divorced after a previous marriage and if any vindictive relative of either spouse initiates any legal action, the witness may be called to testify.

In fact, if one of the couple is a minor, a criminal case can be slapped against the other couple, who is above the legal age, and the witnesses. Basically, if any or all conditions have been violated by any one party, the witness can land in legal trouble.

Reference: The Special Marriage Act, 1954.



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