Kerala HC: Whether Marriages under Special Marriage Act can be solemnised Online?

Aishwarya Rathore –

Published on August 25, 2021, at 15:40 IST

The Kerala High Court examined whether a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 can be solemnised via video conferencing.

Justice P B Suresh Kumar was hearing a Petition in which the Petitioners wanted to marry under the Special Marriage Act via video conference since they could not make a physical appearance owing to the pandemic.

The Order came on the pleas by several petitioners, who have contended that physical presence personally of the bride and groom is not necessary for solemnisation of marriage under the law.

The State vehemently opposed the Petition and expressed its clear disapproval of the online solemnisation of marriages under SMA.

The State contended that under the Act, solemnization was required prior to marriage registration under SMA. Therefore, the presence of both the parties and witnesses before the Marriage Officer is required.

It was further contended that at least one of the two parties has to be a resident of the area within the territorial limits of the Marriage Officer for a minimum period of 30 days before issuing the notice of the intended marriage.

As a result, two persons living abroad cannot have their marriage solemnised online if they do not satisfy the residential requirement.

The Court reserved its decision on the issue of online marriage solemnization under the SMA.

Also Read: P&H HC furnished notice on Plea questioning Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act

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