Friday, January 15, 2010

A Special Marriage in Dehradun

Not that I am sayin' that we are special, I was referring to the Special Marriage Act. Mian and I have been doing some studying of how to register our wedding, and I thought that I could save you guys some time.

Firstly, basic rules:
If both the bride and groom belong to the same religion, then they can have a religious wedding and it will be legal, provided they have a certificate from the officiating priest.
If not, or as in this case, the couple are complicating matters by being both of different religions AND of different countries, then the Special Marriage Act is the way to go.

Cutting through the legalese, what the couple is supposed to do is turn up at the office of the marriage registrar (special marriage act) with the following documents:
  • Proof of age (for both)
  • Proof of permanent residence (for both)
  • Passport photos (for both)
  • Proof that atleast one of the two has been resident in that district for more than 30 days (lease document, electricity/bsnl bill, letter from SHO, letter from employer)
  • In case of a foreign national, no objection certificate from the embassy
In Dehradun, the marriage registrar is the ADM (E), and his office in in the civil court complex. After filling in an application form and paying a fee of 15 Rs., details of the couple are posted on the registrar's notice board for 30 days. If no one raises an objection, the couple turns up again with three adult friends and signs the relevant documents.

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Those are the rules as I understand them. Legal details are available over here.

But. Life is not as it is supposed to be.

We had, and are having, a terrible experience with the process. The ADM (E) referred us to the ADM (F) a Vinod Kumar Suman. This man negated any possibility of our getting married in Dehradun . Not only do they want us to bring our witnesses at the time of application, as well as the time of registration, but they also wont accept our application anyways, since I am not domiciled here. That was a rotten meeting since a real conversation was not happening and we were being shouted at.

When I attempted to seek clarification about why he is asking for a domicile, the reply that was thundered back at me was, "How can you ask me something like this? Not all rules are written, what I say is the rule.'

So that about sums it up.

We are now looking at the Special marriage act in Pune, and also at the Hindu Marriage Act, and I will let you know how things go. But if you are planning on the registering your marriage, read up both the 'paper' rules and the 'real' rules. Lots of people at Indiamike are talking about international weddings, and the excellent White Indian Housewife has information about her experiences in Mumbai.

What else? It is not romantic, it is not pretty, it is not stressfree. But as Mian told me, 'this is not our sh*t, it is theirs'. What we have, and what you have, is removed from that. And that is worth focusing on when confronted by yet another corrupt, xenophobic, gutka-eating, greedy babu.


Parineeta said...

dont let this crap get to you, chics, what you have is the marriage..and its beautiful,
love and wishes

chicu said...

thanks, Pari. and yes, what you say IS true

Anonymous said...

please don't let such people get you down.

both of you are struggling to overcome this-

there is love.

Unmana said...

The Guy and I had a Special Marriage in Pune. It was quite simple and easy. All we needed was the address proof for one of us, and ID for both - as far as I can remember. And details and photographs of both of us and the witnesses.

I loved how the wedding ceremony basically consisted of each of us saying, "Main aaj se __ ko apna pati/patni maanti/maanta hoon", and signing on the document. No fuss, and it's up to us to interpret what we mean by a husband/wife.

All the best with yours: I hope everything works out.

chicu said...

seriously, Unmana? that is heartening..and you didnt need to produce a domicile certificate either? wow..keeping fingers crossed now. Thanks for the good wishes

Malavika said...

Chicu!! Special marriages are easy! You go to my mom!! :D

दीपा पाठक said...

Hey chicu! CONGRATULATIONS! please don't let anything or anybody get you down. this phase will pass soon. we are waiting for your new posts for updates!

D K said...

ohhh please let me know how to Write No Objection Certificate (parents need to write it) then we need to varify by Embassy?

i am little confused do any one can help me and tell me that how to Write No Objection Certificate for marriage.
i want to see sample or what are the contents for this letter?

i need ur all help

chicu said...

DK..Are you applying from Dun? I don't know about this requiring a NOC from the parents.

The one I am referring to for foreign nationals that want to marry an Indian Citizen. Mian got it from his embassy, where they are apparently used to such requests and have a form letter ready.
This letter states that while they are unable to verify the applicant's marital status, they certainly have no objection to his/her getting married.

good luck, and congrats. Though it doesn't seem like it now, the hardest part of the business is over. That, of course, is finding someone you cannot bear to spend the rest of your life without, AND convincing her to feel the same way! so congrats!

D K said...


i am applying from North India
yes and not really Uttrakhand.

we have all documents ready
may i know that do we need all documents Translated in English Language and they all should be Apostiled?

and we have prepared all docs but
only we are confused about NOC from the parents.

we also have got Not Married Certificate from Marriage office for my fiance.


chicu said...

The rules vary with the districts you are applying to. But with the govt's hindi drive, I don't think you need to get it translated. when submitting photocopies, you will need to get them verified and possibly also take along the originals.

Do, do check with the marriage registrar of the district you are applying to; I am far from an expert.


D K said...


yes u right we need to check it with local Marriage officer

but just we were confused about documentation
even though we are ready with max. documents with us.

hoping and praying best to be in future with our legal stuff.

thanks again


Anonymous said...

We had hell trying to get a marriage certificate in Solan, HP. Both my husband and I are from down south and were plain furious at being looked at suspiciously because we're "not from here".
What a seriously disgusting racist backward place North India can be.... we simply decided not to take the crap and forget about the cert... for most legal things an affidavit of marriage does hte job... so....