3 Jun 2022 7:41 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered an inquiry into the certificates issued by a 'Pradhan' of Arya Samaj temple. The Court issued this order while hearing a criminal writ petition filed by one Kapil Kumar who argued that he had solemnized marriage with the girl and therefore, lodgement of FIR against him was bad in law.However, the Court expressed doubt over the petitioner's claim...
The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered an inquiry into the certificates issued by a 'Pradhan' of Arya Samaj temple. The Court issued this order while hearing a criminal writ petition filed by one Kapil Kumar who argued that he had solemnized marriage with the girl and therefore, lodgement of FIR against him was bad in law.
However, the Court expressed doubt over the petitioner's claim of marriage, which was based upon a marriage certificate issued by one Santosh Kumar Shastri claiming himself to be Pradhan of Arya Samaj Krishna Nagar, Prayagraj.
Shastri claimed to have performed the marriage in his capacity as the Priest and had solemnized the marriage.
Taking a serious note of this matter, the Court observed that the Court is flooded with the writ petitions in which such certificates are issued by Santosh Kumar Shastri. The Court also noted that in August 2016, the High Court had already restrained Shastri from issuing any marriage certificate, however, he continued to issue certificates.
Against this backdrop, the Bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajnish Kumar observed thus:
"What troubles us is the issuance of marriage certificate by Santosh Kumar Shastri in respect of persons, who are not even known to him nor are identified by any responsible person. The said Santosh Kumar Shastri has been issuing certificates, which forms the basis for registration of marriage or for other similar purposes. In most of the these matters the girls are minor and on the basis of Aadhar Card the marriages are being registered."
Therefore, in view of the large number of petitions being filed based only upon the Aadhar Card, the Court thought it appropriate to order and inquiry into the matter and consequently, the Court issued the following order:
"...we, therefore, direct the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj to get an investigation conducted in the manner and methodology of functioning of Arya Samaj Kydganj, Prayagraj through its alleged Pradhan Santosh Kumar Shastri while issuing marriage certificate. An enquiry would be got conducted as to whether the marriages in fact are being performed or it is just issuing empty certificates of marriage."
The Court has ordered that the enquiry in the matter would be got conducted through an officer not below the rank of Circle Officer and has sought the report by the next date fixed (August 8, 2022)
Further, the court directed Shastri to produce registers of all the marriages, which have been got solemnized by him over last five years, particularly ever since the specific restraint order was passed against him on 10.8.2016.
The Court also recorded the reasons for ordering an inquiry into the matter as it noted that in the event any future dispute arises between the parties, it would be very difficult to determine the factum of marriage in the manner certificates are being issued by the person concerned.
"We may note that these young boys and girls enter into their relationships very often due to infatuation or other reasons, which may be for limited period. The difficulty we see for these youngsters is that if their relationships break, there is none to support them. The families distance them and apparently there are no other social security mechanism in place for these young girls. The Constitution respects their freedom but the Court, while granting them protection, also has the obligation to secure them from any possible ills, later," the Court added.
Case title - Kapil Kumar v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others [CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. - 5180 of 2022]
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