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MARRIAGE LAW   17

imacy of offspring and a certificate to that effect is given by a legally qualified medical practitioner known to the issuer, and, except in such a case, no person may celebrate a marriage ceremony, in any case, in which either of the contracting parties is under the age of fourteen years to the knowledge or information of such person.

Notwithstanding these provisions, the Registrar General, who is for the time being the Provincial Secretary, may in his absolute discretion authorize the issuing of a license where he considers that circumstances justify such action in any particular case, and may prescribe the evidence which may be required.

The consent, to which reference has been made, becomes of particular importance where an action is brought for a declaration of the invalidity of the marriage, in which case the consent is an absolutely essential condition precedent to the performance or solemnization of a valid marriage, and the marriage, if solemnized without such consent, may be declared to be null and void, except in the cases to which we have referred where the consent cannot be obtained, or the marriage


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