Affixing Notice of Marriage at Residence of Parties not Warranted by Law

February 23, 2018

Case name: Kuldeep Singh Meena v. State of Rajasthan & ors. (Rajasthan High Court)

Date of Judgment: February 20, 2018

The issue raised in the petition pertained to the legality of the procedure followed by the competent authority under the Special Marriages Act, 1954  to paste a notice of the intending marriage between the couple at the respective residence of the couple.

In the case, the Rajasthan High Court made reference to Delhi High Court’s judgment in the case of Pranav Kumar Mishra & Anr. Vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr., wherein the Court with reference to relevant provisions under the Special Marriages Act, 1954   held that procedure for registration of the marriage under the Special Marriages Act, 1954 does not warrant to send a notice at the residence of the parties, much less affix the same at the residence.

The Delhi High Court in the case stated that the notice of the intended marriage is conceived by Section 5 which contemplates that the parties to the marriage be given a notice to the Marriage Office indicating therein that they have been residing at the given address for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date when such notice is given and as per Section 6, the notice received by the Marriage Office has to be entered in a register which shall be open to any person desirous of inspecting the same and the same every such notice shall be published by affixing a copy of the same at a conspicuous place in Marriage Officer’s office.

In view of the aforesaid, the Delhi High Court inferred that the procedure of affixing the notice at the residence of the parties is not warranted or authorised by law. It has been held that this would amount to a breach of privacy of the individuals.

The Rajasthan High Court in the instant case concurred with the aforesaid holding of Delhi High Court and directed all all Marriage Officers in the State of Rajasthan not to despatch notices to the residence of the applicants who seek solemnization of their marriage under the Special Marriages Act, 1954.