7 May 2023 2:03 PM GMT
The Madras High Court has directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to initiate disciplinary action against lawyers who are conducting marriage ceremonies in their offices and issuing fake marriage certificates. "The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is also directed to initiate disciplinary action against the lawyers who are conducting these types of marriages all over Tamil Nadu by...
The Madras High Court has directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to initiate disciplinary action against lawyers who are conducting marriage ceremonies in their offices and issuing fake marriage certificates.
"The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is also directed to initiate disciplinary action against the lawyers who are conducting these types of marriages all over Tamil Nadu by issuing fake certificates after providing opportunity to them within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The Law Enforcing Agency is also at liberty to proceed against the lawyers who are performing these types of marriages as well as the petitioner in the manner known to law."
Noting that marriages performed by Advocates in their office are not valid marriages, the bench of Justice M Dhandapani and Justice R Vijayakumar held that the same have to be registered under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 and the parties have to physically appear before the Registrar.
The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by one Ilavarasan claiming that his wife was forcibly kept in detention by her parents. He submitted that he and the detenu fell in love and decided to get married but her parents meanwhile got her married to someone else. He further submitted that though the detenu came out of the parental home and got married to him, her family members came to their home and forcibly took her away.
Contending that his marriage to the detune was a valid one, R Alagumani, the counsel for Ilavarasan, submitted that a special marriage was conducted in the presence of Advocates and office bearers of the Trade Union, under Section 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Additional Public Prosecutor S Ravi, however, told the court that Ilavarasan had "kidnapped" the detenu twice for which police cases were registered against him. It was argued that Ilavarasan had suppressed these facts and come to the court merely for harassing the girl’s parents.
The court, after hearing the arguments, questioned how advocates can conduct marriages in their offices and Trade Unions. The bench noted that when a similar issue came up before the court in S.Balakrishnan Pandiyan vs. The Superintendent of Police, Kanchipuram District and others, the court had taken a stand against advocates conducting marriages and presenting the Memorandum of Registration to the Registrar as the same would lower the dignity of the bar in the eyes of the general public.
In the present case, Ilavarasan claimed that the marriage was performed in the presence of Kanagasabai M.A.B.L., and Balamurugan, who is the Deputy Secretary of State Legal Wing, District Trade Union, Tiruppur.
Case Title: Ilavarsan v The Superintendent of Police and Others
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 137