Is it possible for Hindus to marry without undergoing Hindu marriage rituals and still remain Hindu for other aspects of the law?

Yes. Hindus can opt for a civil marriage, often incorrectly referred to as a "court marriage," under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Provisions in the Act govern civil marriages and require no religious ritual or ceremony of any kind. The necessary requirement is that the persons intending to marry inform the marriage officer of the district in which at least one of them lives. The marriage officer then posts the information on a public notice board and keeps it up for 30 days. During those 30 days, any person can object to the marriage on grounds such as the intended bride is under age or that she is too closely related to the bridegroom or that she has been married before. If no valid objections are received, the couple signs a declaration in the marriage office in the presence of three witnesses. The marriage officer then issues a certificate of marriage to the couple as proof of the marriage. The Special Marriage Act, in S.21-A clearly states that if a special or civil marriage takes place between two persons both of whom are Hindus, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain, such persons continue to be governed by other aspects of Hindu personal law, such as the law relating to succession.

Hindu Marriage Law
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