Bombay high court says presence of priest is not necessary to register marriages
The court on Tuesday struck down a circular issued by the registering authority of Jalgaon Municipal Corporation, mandating the presence of the priest to register a marriage.Updated: Aug 05, 2017, 00:45 IST
The Bombay high court has said that it is not necessary for the priest to be present before a marriage registrar to get it registered.
The court on Tuesday struck down a circular issued by the registering authority of Jalgaon Municipal Corporation, mandating the presence of the priest to register a marriage.
Umesh Pujari, who presides over the rituals at Kalaram Temple in Nashik had approached court challenging the circular issued by the registering authority, saying that he performed many marriages in various temples and it was difficult for him to be present at the registrar’s office to register all of them, without affecting his livelihood.
He contended that Section 6 of the Maharashtra Regulation of Marriage Bureaus and Registration of Marriages Act, 1998, said that the bride, groom and three witnesses were required to appear in person before the registrar of marriages and there was no provision in the act that mandated the priest’s presence.
The bench accepted his contention saying that there was no such provision under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. “It is, thus, clear that it is the matter of faith of the parties to the marriage to take the purohit’s assistance to solemnise their marriage,” it said.
It further said that it was common knowledge that there were certain schools of thoughts and communities which do need a priest to preside over weddings. “If that be so, it will be difficult for the followers of such people to ensure the presence of a priest to get the marriage registered,” said the bench.