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Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging Provisions of Special Marriage Act That Require 30 Days Notice Prior To Registration of Inter-Faith Marriages

Karan Tripathi
7 Oct 2020 6:48 AM GMT
Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging Provisions of Special Marriage Act That Require 30 Days Notice Prior To Registration of Inter-Faith Marriages
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Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea challenging the provisions of the Special Marriage Act that require inter-faith couples to send a notice to the marriage officer 30 days prior to the registration of their marriage. The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Union of India. Filed by Nida Rahman, the...

Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea challenging the provisions of the Special Marriage Act that require inter-faith couples to send a notice to the marriage officer 30 days prior to the registration of their marriage.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Union of India.

Filed by Nida Rahman, the petition challenges sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act which lays down procedures to be followed to call public objections to inter-faith couples seeking registration of their marriage.

Section 6 of the Special Marriage Act requires the 'marriage officer' to publish a notice seeking public objections at a conspicuous place outside his office, 30 days prior to the registration of marriage of inter-faith couples.

Section 7 of the same Act reads as:

'Any person may, before the expiration of thirty days from the date on which any such notice has been published under sub-section (2) of section 6, object to the marriage on the ground that it would contravene one or more of the conditions specified in section 4.'

The notice that the inter-faith couples have to send to the marriage officer for publication mentions their personal details - including their names, address, etc.

The Petitioner, has therefore, argued that this mandatory requirement violates the fundamental Right to Privacy of the inter-faith couples as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Apart from violating their privacy, the Petitioner argues, this requirement also exposes inter-faith couples to immediate danger as most of them seek registration of their marriages against the wishes of their family members.

It is further argued by the Petitioner that these sections of the Special Marriage Act also violate Article 14 of the Constitution as there are no similar provisions for the registration of marriages under the Hindu or Muslim personal laws.

The Petitioner in this case was represented by Mr Utkarsh Singh.

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