Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Compulsory Pre-Marital Counselling Before Registration Of Marriage

Update: 2021-12-02 14:30 GMT

A public interest litigation has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Central Government to consider framing a policy that prescribes all the States/ UTs to make "Pre-Marital Counselling" mandatory for registration of marriage in the country."In today's times when divorces are increasing at an alarming rate in the country, there is a dire need for addressing...

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A public interest litigation has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Central Government to consider framing a policy that prescribes all the States/ UTs to make "Pre-Marital Counselling" mandatory for registration of marriage in the country.

"In today's times when divorces are increasing at an alarming rate in the country, there is a dire need for addressing issues that make couples take the decision to separate," the petition filed by the National Child Development Council states at the outset.

The plea has been filed in the wake of a report of the National Crime Bureau of Records (NCRB) as per which marital problems have driven about 37,591 people to suicide between 2016 and 2020, an average of about 20 people daily.

The plea states that there has been an increase in divorces on grounds that may seem "quite flimsy" and "easily resolvable", and that premarital counseling shall equip couples to resolve such petty differences and conflicts between in-laws.

It is submitted:

  • The issue pertains to welfare of the one single unit called family;
  • The issue can be equated with Article 21 and the right of a child to live in a peaceful and healthy atmosphere;
    • Article 39 of the Constitution directs the State to ensure that Children's childhood remains protected from against any form of exploitation and against any sort of moral and material abandonment;
    • A pre-marital counseling programme would offer that much needed guidance to assist couples in evaluating their readiness to enter into marriage with great understanding and certainty.
    The plea contends that there is a need to design a premarital course which takes into account practical realities of life and aims to mentally strengthen a soon to be bride and a groom. It suggests that these courses should be conducted by experts who have a good experience in dealing with marital issues and family discord.
    It is highlighted that Goa has recently decided to formulate a policy which makes premarital counseling mandatory. Further, the the Kerala Women Commission and the Tamil Nadu Women Commission chief have openly supported Pre-Marital Counseling to be made mandatory for registration of marriage.
    "It is also relevant to mention that seeing the effectiveness and necessity of pre-marital counseling some religious groups/denominations have already made pre- marital counseling mandatory before marriage for their members," the plea filed through Advocate on Record Jose Abraham adds.

    Petition has been drawn by Robin Raju,Deepa Joseph,Blessan Mathews Advocates and filed through Jose Abraham,AOR.

    Case Title: NCDC v. Union of India

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