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If a foreign Embassy does not issue a Single Status Certificate or NOC due to the law, rules, and regulations prevailing in that country, Declarations or Certificates evidencing the same should be accepted in India for registration of marriage: Kerala High Court

If a foreign Embassy does not issue a Single Status Certificate or NOC due to the law, rules, and regulations prevailing in that country, Declarations or Certificates evidencing the same should be accepted in India for registration of marriage is upheld by the Kerala High Court in the case of Joel K. Yoyakkim v. Sub Registrar (Marriage Officer) (WP (C) No. 3055 of 2022) through Justice N. Nagaresh

FACTS OF THE CASE

The current case involved an Indian citizen who intended to solemnise and register his marriage with a British citizen.

Unmarried and employed, the petitioner was an Indian citizen who asked for the annulment of a circular and a directive to respondent 1’s marriage officer to accept the petitioner’s and his bride’s documents.

A British citizen with an Overseas Citizen of India card was the petitioner’s bride (OCI). The petitioner and his wife made the decision to legally wed in accordance with the Special Marriage Act of 1954.

Regarding the NOC and Bachelorhood Certificate, Respondent 1, that is, Marriage Officer said that the petitioner was required to present a No Objection Certificate (NOC) and Bachelorhood Certificates issued by the Embassy of the Foreign Nation in question in order to solemnise and register the marriage.

When the petitioner’s bride returned to the UK, she was informed that the British government no longer issues a Certificate of Impediment or No Objection Certificate to British Citizens to get married abroad because the law governing marriage in the UK varies depending on where you live, in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, for example.

She therefore signed a statutory declaration of her single status in front of a solicitor, and it was apostille. The petitioner wished to order respondent 1 to accept the aforementioned documents and take the necessary actions to have their marriage solemnised and registered.

JUDGMENT

The High Court ruled that declarations or certificates proving single status should be recognised in India for marriage registration if a foreign embassy refuses to grant a single status certificate or NOC because of the laws, rules, and regulations in that nation.

Court stated the aforementioned, adding that no one can be forced to complete an impossible assignment. The rejection of the intending parties to solemnise and register the marriage would result in severe injustice because the petitioner had submitted the Single Status Statutory Declaration that had been apostilled.

Due to the foregoing, the court dismissed the petition and ordered respondent 1 to accept the petitioner and his bride’s documents.

Therefore, the Court held that if a foreign Embassy does not issue a Single Status Certificate or NOC due to the law, rules, and regulations prevailing in that country, Declarations or Certificates evidencing the same should be accepted in India for registration of marriage.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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