A division bench of Rajasthan High Court has directed all marriage officers in the state not to despatch notices to the residence of the applicants who seek solemnization of their marriage under the Special Marriages Act, 1954.
Kuldeep Singh Meena had approached the high court the legality of the procedure followed by the marriage officers to paste a notice of the intending marriage between the couple at the respective residence of the couple through the SHO of the concerned police station.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog concurred with a decision of single bench of Delhi High Court, in Pranav Kumar Mishra & Anr v Govt Of NCT Of Delhi, and observed that the procedure of affixing the notice at the residence of the parties is not warranted or authorised by law and this would amount to a breach of privacy of the individuals.
In the said decision, Justice Ravindra Bhat had observed: “It is to be kept in mind the that the Special Marriage Act was enacted to enable a special form of marriage for any Indian national, professing different faiths, or desiring a civil form of marriage. The unwarranted disclosure of matrimonial plans by two adults entitled to solemnize it may, in certain situations, jeopardize the marriage itself. In certain instances, it may even endanger the life or limb of one at the other party due to parental interference.”
The bench said it concurred with the reasoning of the single bench of Delhi High Court.