Special Marriage in Bangladesh:


Special Marriage is a special form of marriage. Generally when the parties are profess same religion marriages are administered by the Personal Laws of the Parties such as Muslim Laws, Hindu Laws etc. Special Marriage is used in the case of inter religion marriages and also for marriages between Bangladeshi Nationals and Foreigners where the parties profess different religion. In this article we have discussed the basics of Special Marriage in Bangladesh and some features of the Special Marriage Act 1872. 

  • What is the legal basis of Special Marriage in Bangladesh?

The Special Marriage Act 1872 (hereinafter referred to as “ACT”) is the legal basis of Special Marriage in Bangladesh.

  • Who can marry under the Special Marriage Act, 1872

The following persons can marry under this Act:

(a) Persons neither of whom professes the Christian or the Jewish, or the Hindu or the Muslim or the Parsi or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion ;
(b) Persons each of whom professes one or other of the following religions, the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion.

  • What are the conditions upon which marriages under ACT may be celebrated?

The Parties (Bridegroom or Bride) must have to fulfill the following conditions:
(a) Neither Party must, at the time of the marriage, have a husband or wife living;
(b) The man must have completed his age of 18 (eighteen) years, and the woman her age of 14 (Fourteen) years,
(c) If he or she has not completed the age of 21 (Twenty-one) years, have to obtained the consent of his or her father or guardian to the marriage:
(d) The parties must not be related to each other in any degree of consanguinity or affinity which would, according to any law to which either of them is subject, render a marriage between them illegal.

  • What are the required documents for a Special Marriage

(a) National Identification Card (NID) of the Parties.
(b) Address, Name and Mobile Number of Father and Mother of the Parties.
(c) Proof of Address of a District within which either Party has resided for 14 days before “Notice of Marriage” is given to the Registrar.
(d) 4 Passport Size Photographs of the Parties.
(e) Name, Father and Mother’s Name, address of 3 (Three) Witnesses, 2 Passport Size photograph, Copy of National ID (If Available) of each witness.
(f) Divorce Certificate of Previous Marriage (if Applicable)

  • What is the procedure of a Special Marriage under the ACT

Firstly: One of the parties (Either Bridegroom or Bride) must give a notice in writing to the Registrar (Appointed by the Government under the ACT) before 14 days of registration of the marriage.

Secondly: Before the marriage is solemnized the Parties and three witnesses shall have to sign a declaration in the presence of the Registrar.

Thirdly: The marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of the Registrar and of the three witnesses who have to sign the declaration. Each party has to say to the other, in the presence and hearing of the Registrar and witnesses, “I [A], take the [B], to be my lawful wife (or husband).”

Fourthly: When the marriage has been solemnized the Registrar shall enter a certificate thereof in a book to kept by him for that purpose. Such Certificate shall be signed by the Parties and the three witnesses. Parties have to collect a Certificate from the Registrar.

  • Where Special Marriage can be solemnized?

The marriage may be celebrated either at the office of the Registrar or at such other place, within reasonable distance of the office of the Registrar, as the parties’ desire.

  • Appointment of Marriage Registrar 

Government may appoint one or more Registrar under this ACT ans shall be called “Registrar of Marriages under Act III of 1872” for any portion of the territory subject to the administration. 

  • Penalty on married person marring under the ACT 

A Person who being at the time married procures a marriage of himself to be solemnized shall be deemed to have committed an Offence under Section 494 or Section 495 of the Penal Code 1860 and the marriage so solemnized is void.  

  • Punishment of Bigamy under the ACT 

If any person who is married under this ACT contracts any other marriage during the life time of his or her husband or wife shall be subject to penalties under Section 494 and Section 495 of the Penal Code 1860

  • Penalty for singing False Declaration under the ACT 

If any person making, signing or attesting any declaration or certificate by this ACT containing a false statement shall be deemed guilty of the offence under Section 199 of the Penal Code 1860

  • Succession to the Property of Parties married under this ACT 

The Property of the issue of such marriage shall be regulated by the provisions of the Succession Act 1925

  • Right of Adoption 

Persons married under the ACT shall have no right of Adoption. 

  • Divorce Act to Apply 

The Divorce Act 1869 shall apply to all marriages contracted under this ACT. 

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