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SDM Issuing Notices At Residence Of Couple Seeking Registration Of Marriage Under Special Marriage Act Prima Facie Contempt Of Court: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
12 Aug 2021 1:58 PM GMT
SDM Issuing Notices At Residence Of Couple Seeking Registration Of Marriage Under Special Marriage Act Prima Facie Contempt Of Court: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has observed that the act of a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to issue notices at the residence of a couple seeking registration of marriage under the Special Marriage Act is prima facie contempt of court as being in clear violation of its earlier directions issued in 2009 directing all Marriage Officers to not despatch notices to the residence of the applicants,...

The Delhi High Court has observed that the act of a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to issue notices at the residence of a couple seeking registration of marriage under the Special Marriage Act is prima facie contempt of court as being in clear violation of its earlier directions issued in 2009 directing all Marriage Officers to not despatch notices to the residence of the applicants, seeking solemnization of their marriage under Chapter II of the Act.

Justice Najmi Waziri reiterated that the prohibition to send such notices is put in place which could otherwise jeopardize the plans of the applicants or become a cause for threat to their lives or limb.

"Despite the above, the respondent/SDM, South West District, issued notices at the residence of one of the applicants/petitioners apropos the registration of marriage sought by him and his partner, under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 on 25.02.2020," the Court said.

Notice was therefore issued by the Court to SDM, South West Delhi to show cause why contempt proceedings not to be initiated against him "for obstructing the administration of justice and for committing contempt of court."

"The aforesaid issuance of notice is in clear breach of this Court's directions dated 08.04.2009. Prima facie, the court is of the view that the respondent has committed contempt of court," the Court said.

The High Court had vide order dated 8th April 2009 observed that unwarranted disclosure of matrimonial plans by two adults entitled to solemnize it may, in certain situations, jeopardize the marriage itself and that in certain instances, it may even endanger the life or limb of one or the other party due to parental interference.

"All Marriage Officers are hereby directed to follow the above procedures and not despatch notices to the residence of the applicants, who seeks solemnization of their marriage under Chapter II of the Act," the Court had directed.

Furthermore, Justice Waziri also relied upon the directions issued to Deputy Commissioners of the Government of NCT of Delhi on 18th September 2009 pursuant to the High Court order wherein it was stated that notices must not be sent to the residences of such applicants.

"In other words, whenever a couple desire to get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, notices are not to be sent to their residences. There is prohibition to send such notices which could jeopardize the plans of the applicants or become a cause for threat to their lives or limb. At best, the notice can be displayed at the notice board of the office in accordance with law," the Court reiterated.

The matter will now be heard on September 8.

Title: PARVEEN BANO & ANR. v. CHANDRA SHEKHAR SDM SOUTH WEST

Click Here To Read Order

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