Parties Can Register Marriage Virtually Without Physical Presence: Delhi HC

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Marriage registration on video: The virtual presence of both parties is sufficient to register a marriage without their physical presence, the Delhi High Court ruled Thursday. The court observed that “personal presence,” as mandated, does not necessarily mean in-person appearance.

Justice Rekha Palli was presiding over the court hearing that concerned a plea filed by an NRI (non-resident Indian) couple residing in the United States, looking to get their marriage registered in Delhi. According to Bar & Benchthe couple requested the HC in order for their online application for marriage to be accepted by the Delhi government.

The petitioners’ legal representative put before the court the distinction between “personal” and “physical”, and how the former, mentioned in the state order provision, was being wrongly interpreted.

The government counsel said physical presence is necessary for verification and has previously stated it concerns the “software” used for marriage registration in the capital.

Delhi HC Permits Marriage Registration On Video: Here’s What Happened

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government told the Delhi HC last month that physical presence of parties registering their marriage was necessary and could not be done via video, ANI reported. The government had sought more time to file a counter-affidavit, with the court warning it was their last chance to do so.

It was a hearing concerning the same US-based couple seeking online application of their marriage under the Delhi (Compulsory Registration of Marriage) Order, 2014. They have been married since 2001.

The couple cites a restriction on air travel from the US to India during the COVID-19 pandemic on their inability to make a physical appearance at this time. Their green card applications in the US were not being allowed to proceed without a marriage certificate.

Marriage registration was made compulsory in 2014, the couple said, and that virtual registration had been allowed even as far back as 2007.

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