Kerala HC Allows Power Of Attorney Of Husband To Sign In Marriage Register; Directs Registrar To Verify Identity Of Husband Through Video Conference [Read Judgment]

Kerala HC Allows Power Of Attorney Of Husband To Sign In Marriage Register; Directs Registrar To Verify Identity Of Husband Through Video Conference [Read Judgment]

If there is no difficulty to identify the person through the medium of video conference, certainly that can be resorted, the court said.

The Kerala High Court, on a plea of a lady whose husband works abroad, has directed the Registrar of Marriage to allow power of attorney holder of the husband to sign in the marriage register, after verifying the identity of the husband by holding a video conference.

KR Sinimol, whose husband is working in Kuwait, had approached the high court after the registrar refused to register the marriage stating that her husband has to be personally present, for their marriage to be registered.

Although she cited the recent high court judgment in Pardeep Kodiveedu Cletus vs. Local Registrar of Marriages (Common), the registrar refused stating that it cannot be followed for the purpose of registering the marriage through video conferencing, as there is no corresponding amendment to Rule 11 of Kerala Registration of Marriages (Common) Rules, 2008.

Justice A Muhamed Mustaque, who heard the plea, enquired with the standing counsel of the local authority whether it is having the facility to hold video conferencing, to which it was told that they have such facility.

The court then observed: “In this case parties have already appeared. However, parties have to put a signature in the space provided for the purpose of registering the marriage. The purpose of the Rule is to ensure the identity of the person as well as to ensure that such marriage has taken place. If there is no difficulty to identify the person through the medium of video conference, certainly that can be resorted.  On being satisfied with the identity of a person, the Registrar can permit authorised Power of Attorney holder of the person concerned to put a signature in the space provided for registering the marriage.”

Pardeep Kodiveedu Cletus case

This judgment, delivered in November last year by Justice PB Suresh Kumar, had categorically held that the powerholder of the married couple can be permitted to sign in the marriage register on their behalf.

Reading down the provision contained in Rule 11 of the Rules, the court had observed that it can certainly be interpreted as enabling the local registrar to obtain personal appearance through video conferencing as well.

 “True, inconvenience caused by a rule can never be a ground for annulling the same or reading down the Rule in a different fashion. But, if the purpose of the rule could be ensured otherwise, should the parties be put to inconvenience? My conclusion is that if the purpose of the rule can be ensured otherwise, the provision of law can be interpreted by courts in a fashion not causing any inconvenience to the parties,” the court had said in that case.

Read the Judgment Here