Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act

1 Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, 1886

[Act No. 6 of 1886 dated 8th. March, 1886]1

An Act to provide for the voluntary registration of certain births and deaths, for the

establishment of General Registry Offices for keeping registers of certain births, deaths

and marriages, and for certain other purposes.

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the voluntary registration of births and

deaths among certain classes of persons, for the more effectual registration of

those births and deaths and of the marriages registered under Act 3 of 18722 or

the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 (15 of 1872), and of certain marriages

registered under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 18653 (15 of 1865), and for

the establishment of general registry offices for keeping registers of those births,

deaths and marriages;

And Whereas it is also expedient to provide for the authentication and custody

of certain existing registers made otherwise than in the performance of a duty

specially enjoined by the law of the country in which the registers were kept, and

to declare that copies of the entries in those registers shall be admissible in

evidence;

It is hereby enacted as follows:-

CHAPTER I : PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act,

1886; and

(2) It shall come into force on such day4 as the Central Government, by

notification in the Official Gazette, directs.

5[***]

6[2. Extent

This Act 7extends to the whole of India except 8[the territories which,

immediately before the 1st. November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States].]

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3. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,-

"sign" includes mark, when the person making the mark is unable to write his

name:

"prescribed" means prescribed by a rule made 9[***] under this Act : and

"Registrar of Births and Deaths" means a Registrar of Births and Deaths

appointed under this Act.

4. Saving of local laws

Nothing is this Act, or in any rule made under this Act, shall affect any law

heretofore or hereafter passed providing for the registration of births and deaths

within particular local areas.

5. Power exercisable from time to time

All powers conferred by this Act may be exercised from time to time as occasion

requires.

6. Establishment of general registry offices and appointment of registrars

General

(1) Each State Government.

(a) shall establish a general registry office for keeping such certified copies of

registers of births and deaths registers of births and deaths registered under this

Act, or marriages registered under Act 3 of 18722 (to provide a form of marriage

in certain cases) or the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 (15 of 1872) or,

beyond the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High

Court of judicature at Bombay, under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 18653

(15 of 1865), as may be sent to it under this Act, or under any of the three last

mentioned Acts, as amended by this Act; and

(b) may appoint to the charge of that office an officer, to be called, the registrar

General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, for the territories under its

administration.

10[***]

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7. Indexes to be kept at general registry office

Each Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages shall cause indexes of al

the certified copies of registers sent to his office under this Act, or under Act 3 of

18722, the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 (15 of 1872) or the Parsi Marriage

and Divorce Act 18653 (15 of 1865) as amended by this Act, to be made and kept

in his office in the prescribed form.

8. Indexes to be open to inspection

Subject to the payment of the prescribed fees, the indexes so made shall be at all

reasonable times open to inspection by and person applying to inspect them, and

copies of entries in the certified copies of the registers to which the indexes relate

shall be given to all persons applying for them.

9. Copies of entries to be admissible in evidence

A copy of an entry given under the last foregoing section shall be certified by the

Registrar general of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or by an office authorised in

this behalf by the State Government, and shall be admissible in evidence for the

purpose of proving the birth, death or marriage to which the entry relates.

10. Superintendence of Registrars by Registrar General

Each registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages shall exercise a general

superintendence over the Registrars of Births and Deaths in the territories for

which he is appointed.

CHAPTER III : REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS

A.- Application of this Chapter

11. Persons whose births and deaths are registrable

(1) the person whose births and deaths shall, in the first instance, be registrable

under this Chapter are the following, namely:-

(a) in 11[the territories to which this Act extends] the members of every race, sect

or tribe to which the Indian Succession Act, 186512 (10 of 1865) applies, and in

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respect of which an order under section 332 of that Act is not for the time being

in force, and all persons professing the Christian religion;

13[***]

(2) But the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, may 14[***]

extend the operation of this Chapter to any other class of persons either

generally or in any local area.

B.-Registration establishment

12. Power for State Government to appoint Registrars for its territories

The State Government may appoint, either by name or by virtue of their office, so

many person as it thinks necessary to be Registrars of Births and Deaths for such

local areas within the territories under its administration as it may define and, if

it sees fit, for any class of persons within any part of those territories.

[Section 13 repealed by the A.O. 1950.]

14. Registrar to be deemed a public servant

Every registrar of Births and Deaths shall be deemed to be a public servant

within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

[Section 15 repealed by the A.O. 1937]

16. Office and attendance of Registrar

(1) Every Registrar of Births and Deaths shall have an office in the local area, or

within the part of the territories or dominions, for which he is appointed.

(2) Every Registrar of Births and Deaths to whom the State Government may

direct this sub-section to apply shall attend at his office for the purpose of

Registering births and deaths on such days and at such hours as the Registrar

General of Births, Deaths and Marriages may direct, and shall cause to be placed

in some conspicuous place on or near the outer door of his office his name, with

the addition of Registrar of Births and Deaths for the local area or class for which

he is appointed, and the days and hours of his attendance.

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17. Absence of registrar or vacancy in his office

(1) When any Registrar of Births and Deaths to whom the State Government may

direct this section to apply15, not being a registrar of Births and Deaths for a local

area in the town of Calcutta, Madras or Bombay, is absent, or when his office is

temporarily vacant, any person whom the Registrar General of Births, Deaths

and Marriages appoints in this behalf, or in default of such appointment, the

Judge of the District Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the

Registrar’s office is situate, or such other officer as the State Government

appoints in this behalf, shall be the Registrar of Births and Deaths during such

absence or until the State Government fills the Vacancy.

(2) When any such Registrar of Births and Deaths for a local area in the town of

Calcutta, madras or Bombay is absent, or when his office is temporarily vacant,

any person whom the registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages appoints

in this behalf shall be the Registrar of Births and Deaths during such absence or

until the State Government fills the vacancy.

(3) The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages shall report to the State

Government all appointments made by him under this section.

18. Register books to be supplied and preservation of records to be provided

for

The State Government shall supply every Registrar of Births and Deaths with a

sufficient number of register books of births and of register books of deaths, and

shall make suitable provision for the preservation of the records connected with

the registration of births and deaths.

C.- Mode of registration

19. Duty of Registrar to register births and deaths of which notice is given

Every Registrar of Births and Deaths, on receipt of notice of a birth or death

within the local area or among the class for which he is appointed, shall, if the

notice is given within the prescribed time and in the prescribed mode by a

person authorised by this Act to give the notice, forthwith make an entry of the

birth or death in the proper register book:

Provided that-

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(a) if he has reason to believe the notice to be in any respect false, he may refuse

to register the birth or death until he receives an order from the Judge of the

District Court directing him to make the entry and prescribing the manner in

which the entry is to be made; and

(b) he shall not enter in the register the name of any person as father of an

illegitimate child, unless at the request of the mother and of the person

acknowledging himself to be the father of the child.

20. Persons authorised to give notice of birth

Any of the following persons may give notice of a birth, namely:-

(a) the father or mother of the child;

(b) any person present at the birth;

(c) any person occupying, at the time of the birth, any part of the house wherein

the child was born and having knowledge of the child having been born in the

house;

(d) any medical practitioner in attendance after the birth and having personal

knowledge of the birth having occurred;

(e) any person having charge of the child.

21. Persons authorised to give notice of death

Any of the following persons may give notice of a death, namely:-

(a) any relative of the deceased having knowledge of any of the particulars

required to be registered concerning the death;

(b) any person present at the death;

(c) any person occupying, at the time of the death, any part of the house wherein

the death occurred and having knowledge of the deceased having died in the

house;

(d) any person in attendance during the last illness of the deceased;

(e) any person who has seen the body of the deceased after death.

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22. Entry of birth or death to be signed by person giving notice

(1) When an entry of a birth or death has been made by the Registrar of Births

and Deaths under section 19, the person giving notice of the birth or death must

sign the entry in the register in the presence of the Registrar :

16[Provided that it shall not be necessary for the person giving notice to attend

before the Registrar or to sign the entry in the register if he has given such notice

in writing and has furnished to the satisfaction of the Registrar such evidence of

his identity as may be required by any rules made by the state Government in

this behalf.]

(2) Until the entry has been so signed 17[or the conditions specified in the proviso

to sub-section (1) have been complied with], the birth or death shall bot be

deemed to be registered under this Act.

(3) When the birth of an illegitimate child is registered, and the mother and the

person acknowledging himself to be the father of the child jointly request that

person may be registered as the father, the mother and that person must both

sign the entry in the register in the presence of the Registrar.

23. Grant of certificate of registration of birth or death

The Registrar of Births and Deaths shall, on application made at the time of

registering any birth or death by the person giving notice of the birth or death,

and on payment by him of the prescribed fee, give to the applicant a certificate in

the prescribed form, signed by the Registrar, of having registered the birth or

death.

24. Duty of Registrars as to sending certified copies of entries in register books

to Registrar General

(1) Every Registrar of Births and Deaths in 11[the territories to which this Act

extends] shall send to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for

the territories within which the local area or class for which he is appointed is

situate or resides, at the prescribed intervals, a true copy certified by him, in the

prescribed form, of all the entries of births and deaths in the register book kept

by him since the last of those intervals :

Provided that in the case of Registrars of Births and Deaths who are clergymen of

the Churches or England, Rome and Scotland, the Registrar may, if so directed

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by his ecclesiastical superior, send the certified copies in the first instance to

superior, who shall send them to the proper Registrar General of Births, Deaths

and Marriages.

In this sub-section "Church of England" and "Church of Scotland" mean the

Church of England and the Church of Scotland as by law established

respectively; and "Church of Rome" means the Church which regards the Pope of

Rome as its spiritual head.

18[***]

19[***]

25. Search and copies of entries in register books

(1) Every registrar of Births and Deaths shall, on payment of the prescribed fees,

at all reasonable times, allow searches to be made in the register books kept by

him, and give a copy of any entry in the same.

(2) Every copy of an entry in a register book given under this section shall be

certified by the Registrar of Births and Deaths, and shall be admissible in

evidence for the purpose of proving the birth or death to which the entry relates.

26. Exceptional provision for registration of certain births and deaths

Notwithstanding anything in section 19, the 20[State Government] may make

rules authorising Registrars of Births and Deaths, on conditions and in

circumstances to be specified in the rules, to register births and deaths occurring

outside the local areas or classes for which they are appointed.

27. Penalty for wilfully giving false information

If any person wilfully makes, or causes to be made, for the purpose of being

inserted in any register of births or deaths, any false statement in connection with

any notice of a birth or death under this Act, he shall be punished with

imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine or with

both.

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E.- Correction of errors

28. Correction of entry in register of births or deaths

(1) If it is proved to the satisfaction of a Registrar of births and Deaths that any

entry of a birth or death in any register kept by him under this Act is erroneous

in form or substance, he may, subject to such rules as may be made by the

21[State Government] with respect to the conditions and circumstances on and in

which errors may be corrected, correct the error by entry in the margin, without

any alteration of the original entry, and shall sign the marginal entry and add

thereto the date of the correction.

(2) If a certified copy of the entry has already been sent to the Registrar General

of Births, Deaths and marriages, the Registrar of Births and Deaths shall make

and send a separate certified copy of the original erroneous entry and of the

marginal correction therein made.

[CHAPTER IV : AMENDMENT OF MARRIAGE ACTS

[Sections 29-31 repealed by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938)]

CHAPTER V : SPECIAL PROVISIONS AS TO CERTAIN EXISTING

REGISTERS

32. Permission to persons having custody of certain records to send them

within one year to Registrar General

If any person in 11[the territories to which this Act extends] has for the time being

the custody of any register or record of birth, baptism, naming, dedication, death

or burial of any persons of the classes referred to in section 11, sub-section (1), or

of any register or record of marriage of any persons of the classes to which Act 3

of 1872 or the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 (15 of 1872), or the Parsi

Marriage and Divorce Act, 1865 (15 of 1865), applies, and if such register or

record has been made otherwise than in performance of a duty specially enjoined

by the law of the country in which the register or record was kept, he may, 23[at

any time before the first day of April, 1891] send the register or record to the

office of the Registrar General of births, Deaths and Marriages for the territories

within which he resides 29[***].

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33. Appointment of Commissioners to examine registers

25[(1) Any State Government in the case of registers or records sent under section

32 to the Registrar General for the territories under its administration, 26[***] may

appoint so many persons as it 27[***] thinks fit to be Commissioners for

examining such registers or records.]

(2) The Commissioners so appointed shall hold office for such period as the

28[authority appointing them], by the order of appointment, or any subsequent

order, directs.

34. Duties of Commissioners

(1) The Commissioners appointed under the last foregoing section shall enquire

into the state, custody and authenticity of every such register or record as may be

sent to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages under section 32;

and shall deliver to the Registrar General a descriptive list or descriptive lists of

all such registers or records, or portions of registers or records, as they find to be

accurate and faithful.

(2) The list or lists shall contain the prescribed particulars and refer to the

registers or records, or to the portions of the registers or records, in the

prescribed manner.

(3) The Commissioners shall also certify in writing, upon some part of every

separate book or volume containing any such register or record, or portion of a

register or record, as is referred to in any list or lists made by the Commissioners,

that it is one of the registers or records, referred to in the said list or lists.

35. Searches of lists prepared by Commissioners and grant of certified copies

of entries

(1) Subject to the payment of the prescribed fees, the descriptive list or lists of

registers or records, or portions of registers or records, delivered by the

Commissioners to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages shall be,

at all reasonable times, open to inspection by any person applying to inspect it or

them, and copies of entries in those registers or records shall be given to all

persons applying for them.

(2) A copy of an entry given under this section shall be certified by the Registrar

General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or by an officer or person authorised in

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this behalf by the State Government and shall be admissible in evidence for the

purpose of proving the birth, baptism, naming, dedication, death, burial or

marriage to which the entry relates.

29[35A. Constitution of additional commissions for purposes of this Chapter

(1) 30[***] the State Government 31[may be notification in the Official Gazette]

appoint more Commissions32 than one for the purposes of section 33, each such

Commission consisting of so many and such members, and having its functions

restricted to the disposal, under this Act and the rules thereunder, of such

registers and records sent under section 32 to the Registrar General, as may be

specified in the notification.

(2) If more Commissions than one are appointed in exercise of the power

conferred by sub-section (1), then references in this Act to the Commissioners

shall be construed as references to the members constituting a Commission so

appointed.]

CHAPTER VI : RULES

33[36. Rules

34[(1) The State Government, for each State, 35[***] may make rules to carry out

the purposes of this Act.]

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power,

such rules may-

(a) fix the fees payable under this Act;

(b) prescribe the forms required for the purposed of this Act;

(c) prescribe the time within which, and the mode in which, persons authorised

under this Act to give notice of a birth or death to a Registrar of Births and

Deaths must give the notice;

(d) prescribe the evidence of identity to be furnished to a registrar of Births and

Deaths by persons giving notice of a birth or death in cases where personal

attendance before such Registrar is dispensed with;

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(e) prescribe the registers to be kept and the form and manner in which

Registrars of Births and Deaths are to register births and deaths under this Act

and the intervals at which they are to send to the Registrar General of Births,

Deaths and Marriages, true copies of the entries of births and deaths in the

registers kept by them;

(f) prescribed the conditions and circumstances on and in which Registrars of

Births and Deaths may correct entries of births and deaths inn registers kept by

them;

(g) prescribe the particulars which the descriptive list or lists to be prepared by

the Commissioners appointed under Chapter V are to contain, and the manner in

which they are to refer to the registers or records, or portions of registers, or

records to which they relate; and

(h) prescribe the custody in which those registers or records are to be kept.

(3) Every power to make rules conferred by this Act is subject to the condition of

the rules being made after previous publication.

(4) All rules made under this Act shall be published in the Official Gazette, and

on such publication shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.]

[Section 37 repealed by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration

Amendment Act, 1911.]

1. This Act has been extended to and brought into force in Dadra and Nagar

Haveli (w.e.f. 1st. July, 1965) by regulation No. 6 of 1963 (with modification)

to Goa, Daman and Diu by Regulation 11 of 1963 (with modification).

Repealed (as in force in Bellary District) by Mysore Act 20 of 1956, in Ajmer

area, Abu Road and Suel area by Rajasthan Act 33 of 1958.

2. See now the Special Marriage Act 1954.

3. See now the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936.

4. The date is 1st. October, 1888 vide notification in GOI, 1888, Pt. I, P. 336.

5. Sub-section (3) repealed by Act No. 12 of 1891.

6. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the former section.

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7. It has been declared in force in the Sonthal Parganas by the Sonthal Parganas

Settlement Regulation (3 of 1872). It has also been partially extended to Berar by

the Berar Laws Act, 1941.

8. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for the words "Part

B States".

9. The words "by the G.G. in C." repealed by the A.O. 1937.

10. Sub-section (2) repealed by the A.O. 1937.

11. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for the words "a

Part A State or a Part C State".

12. See now the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1935).

13. Clause (b) omitted by the A.O. 1950.

14. The words "with the previous approval of the G.G. in C.," omitted by Act No.

38 of 1920.

15. The section has been declared by the Government of Madras to apply to all

Registrars appointed by that Government under section 12.

16. Inserted by Act No. 9 of 1911.

17. Inserted, ibid.

18. Sub-section (2) repealed by the A.O. 1950.

19. Proviso to sub-section (2) repealed by the A.O. 1937.

20. Substituted by Act No. 9 of 1911, for the word and letters "G.G. in C."

21. Substituted by Act No. 9 of 1911, for the word and letters "G.G. in C."

22. Substituted by Act No. 16 of 1890, for the words "within one year from the

date on which this Act comes into force".

23. Omitted by the A.O. 1950.

24. Substituted by Act No. 38 of 1920, for the original sub-section (1).

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25. Omitted by the A.O. 1950.

26. The words "or he, as the case may be," omitted by the A.O. 1937.

27. Substituted by Act No. 38 of 1920 for the word and letters "G.G. in C"

28. Sub-section (1) substituted for the original sub-section by the Devolution Act,

1920 (38 of 1920). Sub-section (2) inserted by the Repealing and Amending Act,

1934 (24 of 1934).

29. The words "The Central Government or," omitted by the A.O. 1950.

30. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the words "if he or it thinks fit, may by

notification in the Gazette of India or the local Official Gazette, as the case may

be".

31. For Commissions appointed under this section. see Gazette of India, 1890, Pt.

I, P. 744.

32. Substituted by Act No. 9 of 1911, for the original section.

33. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the original sub-section.

34. The words "and the Central Government for British subjects in India State"

omitted by the A.O. 1950.