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No Need To Display Notice For Inter-Faith Marriages: Allahabad High Court
January 13, 2021
The mandatory display of notices for marriage of inter-faith couples will be optional from now, the Allahabad High Court said today in an order that is likely to bring relief to inter faith couples.
The court said the publication of such notices “would invade in the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy”. They would also affect the couple’s freedom to choose marriage “without interference from state and non-state actors”, the court said.
A section of the Special Marriages Act, 1954, requires an inter-faith couple to give written notice of the marriage to the District Marriage Officer.
The law says such notices be displayed in the official’s office in case anyone wants to object to the marriage within 30 days on the ground that it would contravene the usual rules, including age, mental health and customs of their communities.
In a 47-page judgment on Tuesday, Justice Vivek Chaudhary said couples can now give a written request to the Marriage Officer “to publish or not to publish a notice”.
In case they do not make a request for publication of notice, the Marriage Officer “shall not publish any such notice or entertain objections to the intended marriage and proceed with the solemnization of the marriage,” the order read.
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