Requirement of Compulsory Prior Notice of 30 days under Special Marriage Act Cannot be Relaxed: Kerala HC

Kerala High Court has observed that unless provisions mentioned under the Special Marriage Act are amended, it would not be possible to either permit marriage in digital form or relax the notice’s mandatory period.

This observation was made by Hon’ble Justice PV Asha while dismissing a woman’s petition to allow registration and solemnisation of marriage on a digital platform.

Submissions of the Petitioner:-

The petitioner stated that she got married on January 15 2021, in a private function. Still, her application for marriage registration was rejected as she and her husband belonged to different religions. The office informed her that she would have to register her marriage under the Special Marriage Act.

Accordingly, the couple published the notice of intended marriage. After that, she approached the Kerala High Court and submitted that she has to report to the UK to join a Postgraduate program and not wait for the notice period to expire.

She prayed the Court to relax the mandatory notice period or register the marriage online.

Observations of the Court:-

Hon’ble High Court referred to provisions of the Special Marriage Act. It held that it would not be possible to observe the said provisions/procedures online if the parties and witnesses were not available before the Registrar.

Order of the Court:-

While dismissing the petition, the Bench observed that there could not be any relaxations in some steps. So the minimum notice period of thirty days is mandatory. The Court further opined unless provisions of the Special Marriage Act are amended, they cannot relax the mandatory notice period or permit the marriage in digital form.

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