A court marriage may sound easy, but the red tape can take the colour out of the occasion. Some of that tape is being cut now as the UT administration has introduced online status update of your application.
At present, the procedure under the Special Marriage Act begins with an application, and then come clearances from the police departments concerned about the two persons actually being single.
Plus, there needs to be a newspaper notice issued for inviting objections, if any, to the marriage in one month. At least one of the two parties has to be a resident of the area where the application is filed.
The procedure becomes lengthier if one of the parties is a resident of some other district or state, as the police there are required to send a report. The wait increases in case of a foreign national as the file moves through the embassy concerned. When all this is done, the marriage has to be certified with three witnesses.
Here’s how that gets easier now. While the application still has to be filed in person by at least one of the bride and groom, the cumbersome procedure of keeping track of clearances would now be available on the administration portal. The newspaper notice, too, can be routed through the marriage office.
To check when you can to go with your witnesses to the office concerned for the final solemnisation of your marriage, you can just log on to the portal. It would tell you which clearances have already been obtained and which remain pending. When all clearances are through, you can get together, gather the witnesses and visit the marriage office for the final stamp.
“We have already registered five marriages in the past one week under the system. We have now got the nod for putting a dedicated button to it on the administration’s website (chandigarh.gov.in). That would be done in a couple of days,” informed sub-divisional magistrate, central, Prince Dhawan, in his capacity as marriage officer.
Around 200 ‘court marriages’ are registered in Chandigarh every year.
There are also plans to put the entire marriage registry of the UT online for open access.