The High Court of Kerala passed a judgement on 1 March, 2023 stated that the registering authority under the Special Marriage Act cannot refuse solemnisation of marriage online. It was stated in the case of Anjusha Kuriakose vs State Of Kerala (W.P.(C) No. 1749 & 1858 of 2023) which was passed by the single judge bench comprising of JUSTICE SHAJI P.CHALY
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioners are citizens of India and they have attained majority. With the intention of getting married under the provisions of the Act, 1954, they gave Notice of intended marriage dated 30.12.2022 to the Marriage Officer and Sub Registrar, Piravom, Ernakulam District. The convenient date of marriage was fixed as 30.01.2023 and the first petitioner remitted the requisite fee on 03.01.2023. According to the petitioners, notice was published in the notice board of the Sub Registry Office as is required under the statute.The case of the petitioners is that the first petitioner was selected for M.Sc Global Logistics Operations and Supply Chain Management at a University in the United Kingdom and the course was scheduled to start physically on 23.01.2023, as is evident from Exhibit P3 confirmation of acceptance for studies details. a notice under Section 5 of the Act, 1954 was given for physically appearing before the Marriage Officer and the Sub Registrar, Office of the Sub Registrar, Kottayam District, evident from Exhibit P3. But, fact remains, petitioner No.1 is a graduate in B.Sc Nursing and since March, 2022, she is working at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, England, U.K as a registered nurse; whereas, the second petitioner is working as Hospitality Manager in Dubai, U.A.E.Therefore, according to the petitioners, in order to register the marriage, Exhibit P3 Notice of intended marriage dated 16.01.2023 was given and there is no other alternative than solemnization of marriage online.
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
The registering authority under the Special Marriage Act cannot refuse solemnisation of marriage online.The court also directed the State Government to follow the directions in the interim order for solemnisation of marriage under the Special Marriage Act in all other matters until the Government prescribes any other mode for compliance.These writ petitions stand disposedTherefore, it can be seen that the interim order passed by the Division Bench was made absolute and issued directions accordingly. I am in respectful agreement with the findings rendered by the Division Bench and accordingly, there will be a direction to the respective Marriage Officers to solemnize the marriage of the petitioners online, in terms of the judgment in Arun R.K . The petitioners are also directed to comply with the directions contained in the said judgment.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ROSHNI SABU, KERALA LAW ACADEMY LAW COLLEGE.