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Madras HC: Notice of Intended Marriage Must be Given ‘Prior’ to Solemnization of Marriage

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Madhurai Bench of Madras HC Law Insider

Paridhi Arya

Published on July 2, 2022 at 15:25 IST

Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madhurai Bench had dismissed the application seeking issuance directions to the Registrar for registration of marriage under Special Marriage Act.

The Court observed that procedures under the Special Marriage Act given under Sections 5 to 13 are mandatory and conditions of Section 4 is also mandatory to be followed.

The Court observed, “Things have to move only in a sequential order. The couple in question has put the cart before the horse. The parties after performing their so-called marriage had given notice under Section 5 of the Act. The language of Section 5 of the Act is clear.”

“The Petitioner did not marry Ms. Lediya under The Special Marriage Act, 1954. He cannot avail the benefit set out in Section 4 of the Act. The second respondent rightly declined the petitioner’s request. No mandamus can be issued contrary to law. The writ petition stands dismissed.”

The Petitioner belongs to the Schedule Caste and married Ms. Lediya who is a Christian on June 10, 2022. He performed the marriage in front of the president of panchayat and others.

After the marriage he gave a notice to the registrar under Section 5 of Special Marriage Act on June 17, 2022. The Section 5 of the Act relates to the “notice of intended marriage”.

The registrar on getting the notice declined it on the ground that Ms. Lediya has not completed 21 years of age.

The Petitioner aggrieved with the Registrar’s dismissal approached High Court stating that under Section 4(c) of the Act male need to be of 21 years of age and female need to be of 18 years of age to solemnize the marriage.

The Court observed that marriage was solemnized as self respect marriage which is valid under Hindu Marriage Act but in that case both need to be Hindu.

The Court made it clear that according to the facts of instance case the solemnization of marriage takes place before the notice and so benefits of Section 4 cannot be claimed as procedure is not followed.

The Court observed that according to Section 15 of the Act both the parties of marriage need to complete 21 years of age and so decision of the registrar was right and no directions can be issued by the Court.

The Court advised the Petitioner to marry according to the procedure given under the Act and then Registrar cannot refuse to issue certificate on the ground of age.