Couples Have The Right To Not Display Notice Of Marriage: Allahabad HC

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The Allahabad High court has issued the judgement for making the publication of a ‘notice of marriage’ as non-mandatory. This has been done under the Special Marriage Act of 1954 which now gives a choice to the couple for publishing their notice of marriage. Justice Vivek Chaudhary said that if such a publication is made mandatory, it will harm the rights to freedom and privacy of the concerned parties.

The Couple Will Now Have The Right to Decide On Publishing Their Notice of Marriage

The couple will now hold the right request the Marriage Officer to either publish or not publish their marriage notice under Section 6 of the Act. If the request for the same is not issued, the Marriage Officer won’t be able to publish such notice or succumb to any condemnations. However, the Officer can solemnise the marriage after cross-checking the age, identification and other details after obtaining the required information and documents.

The Allahabad High court decided to come up with this move after a girl issued a habeas corpus petition which alleged that she wasn’t getting the approval to marry her lover from another religion. Both of them said that they would have readily formalised their marriage, but the Special Marriages Act declares that “a 30 days notice to be published and objections to be invited from the public at large.” They challenged that such a notice would put them under societal pressure and prevent them from exercising their right to marry.

The court proceeded to consider the issue raised ‘whether the social conditions and the law, as has progressed since passing of Act of 1872 and thereafter Act of 1954 till now, would in any manner impact the interpretation of Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Act of 1954 and whether with change the said sections no more remain mandatory in nature’?

In this regard, Justice Chaudhary went through various judgements of the Law Commission of India and concluded that it would be harsh to make today’s generation follow customs and traditions that were almost 150 years old.

Allahabad High court Had Earlier Called for protecting the Inter-faith couple

The couple Shaista Parveen alias Sangeeta and her Muslim husband had filed a writ petition on December 16, 2019, which stated that their family members kept harassing them after the couple formalised their marriage. Keeping this in find, the Allahabad High court had ordered the Bijnor police to grant protection to the couple. The court declared that no one had the right to mess with two adults who have decided to live a peaceful life together.

Image credit:  Cultural India

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