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No wedding clues, says HC

delhi Updated: Apr 21, 2009 00:25 IST
Harish V Nair

From now, couples planning to marry against the wishes of their parents need not worry that the official registering it under the Special Marriages Act will inform their homes.

In an order set to bring smiles on the face of thousands of love-struck couples, the Delhi High Court on Monday directed Marriage Officers to stop forthwith the practice of posting of 'notice of intended marriage' under the Special Marriages Act 1954 at the residential addresses of both parties or a service through the SHO of the local police station for verification of their address.

Sampat (name changed), 24, an engineer had decided to marry his girlfriend, a “manglik,” without the knowledge of their parents. He was forced to opt for the special law because he knew his parents would never approve of their relation. But the district marriage officer proved to be spoilsport as he insisted on sending notices to the houses of their respective residences. Sampat approached the HC, challenging the practice as "illegal and arbitrary".

Noting the Act nowhere prescribed such a procedure, Justice S Ravindra Bhat directed the marriage officer to process their request for solemnisation of marriage without sending notices to their residences. “It is to be kept in mind that the Special Marriages 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 the matrimonial plans will jeopardise the marriage itself. In certain instances, it may even endanger the life or limb of one of the other party due to parental interferences”, the judge said.