Registration of Marriage- Physical Presence of Parties Compulsory for Marriage Registration

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February 04, 2019

In this case, the High Court of Madras has mandated the physical presence of both the parties for registration of their marriage in the State of Tamil Nadu.

Case name: A. Kannan v. The Principal Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu & ors.

In this recent, the Petitioner, an Advocate was aggrieved by the provisions of the The Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 and averred that Section 5 of the Act does not make it mandatory for the presence of the parties to the marriage at the time of registration of their marriage and as consequence thereof, the Registrars of marriages under the Act have been registering marriages without verifying the solemnization of such marriage in accordance with the personal laws of the parties.

Bench’s Verdict

In view of the observation made by Division Bench of Madras High Court in the case of S. Balakrishnan Pandiyan -vs- Superintendent of Police, the High Court of Madras in the present case granted relief to the Petitioner and made the following observations in the case:

That on a bare perusal of Section 7 of the Act, it is evident that an obligation has been cast on the Registrar of marriages, before registering a marriage, to be satisfied that the marriage between the parties has been performed in accordance with the personal laws of the parties or any custom or usage or tradition and that the identity of the parties has been established.

While referring to the Court’s verdict in S. Balakrishnan case, the Court reiterated that no marriage can be done under the Act without the physical presence of the parties to the marriage before the Registrar of marriages, except under special circumstances after recording the reasons.

Thus, in view of the aforesaid observations, the High Court directed the Inspector General of Registration, to issue a circular to all the Registrars of marriages in the State of Tamil Nadu highlighting that the physical presence of the parties to the marriage is necessary for the registration of their marriage and it shall be incumbent upon the parties applying for the registration of marriage to establish that the marriage between them has been performed in accordance with their personal laws or custom or usage or tradition.

The entire case can be accessed here.