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20,000 marriages invalid?

mumbai Updated: Mar 04, 2010 01:22 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times

More than 20,000 marriages registered in the last six months could be declared illegal since they were registered with the state registrar’s office instead of local ward offices.

A state notification dated August 10, 2009, has said the BMC must start marriage registrations at local-level ward offices. This was delayed by more than six months.

The Deputy Inspector General of Registration (DIGR) transferred responsibility of marriage registration to the BMC. In a letter to the civic executive health officer, DIGR Dilip Salunkhe said marriages registered in the last six months are not according to the Maharashtra Registration of Marriage Bureaus and Registration of Marriages Act.

Salunkhe said: “The government will allow these marriages by special order. We will now act only according to the Special Marriage Act, which means anybody who wants to marry in court will have to register one month before the marriage. We will issue them a certificate.”

Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, said: “Both the marriage registration offices in the city registered 100-120 marriages every day. We have appointed two people from each ward office to register marriages and they will be trained in a workshop scheduled for Thursday at the Andheri (E) ward.” Marriage registrations at the ward level will start from March 5.

Civic officials said those marrying by Vedik ritual can get the marriage registered from March 5 at the relevant ward office, while those preferring a court marriage will have to get it registered at the state registrar’s office.

The two state offices of the marriage registrar — at Old Customs House in south Mumbai, and at Bandra — register about 60 marriages each every day. Now, their workload will be divided among the 24 ward offices.

Civic employees will cross-check information furnished by the marrying couple, collect their birth certificates and wedding cards as proof of the marriage and ensure witnesses provide signatures and addresses.