Plea in Supreme Court challenging provisions of the Special Marriage Act which require the publication of personal details of couples

Team SoOLEGAL 17 Sep 2020 3:07pm

Plea in Supreme Court challenging provisions of the Special Marriage Act which require the publication of personal details of couples

New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued notice to the Central Government in a plea filed by a third-year law student from Kerala Nandini Praveen via Advocates Nishe Rajen Shonker and Kaleeswaram Raj questioning the validity of certain provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 which require adults to place their personal details in the public domain for scrutiny prior to their wedding.

In addition, it is stated that the disclosure of personal information may also have a “chilling effect” on the right to marry. "In other words, couples are asked to waive the right to privacy to exercise the right to marry. This infringes the rights of autonomy, dignity and the right to marry, of various couples,” the plea says.

The plea states that certain provisions require the parties to a marriage to disclose their private information, which are subject to public scrutiny, before 30 days from the date of the marriage. The provisions also authorize anyone to object the marriage and empower the Marriage Officer to investigate such objections.

The plea says "these provisions violate the fundamental rights of the couple intending to marry, depriving of their right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India".

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said "What if the children run away to get married? How would the parents know about the whereabouts of their children? If a wife runs away, how would the husband come to know?"

Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj on behalf of the government stated that the petitioners did not state that the marriage officer could not inquire into the information of the couple, but that the concern was the publishing of records in the public domain.

The petition claims that the requirement of notice before marriage is missing from the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and from the customary laws of Islam. Thus, the provision is also discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Furthermore, it is claimed that there is no legitimate interest of the State which is protected by the disclosure of the personal and private information of the parties to the wedding.

Thus, the Court issued notice in the matter.

Tagged: Supreme Court   Special Marriage Act   Central Government   law student   Kerala Nandini Praveen   Advocate Nishe Rajen Shonker   Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj   Constitution of India   Article 21   CJI SA Bobde   Justice AS Bopanna   Justice V Ramasubramanian   Hindu Marriage Act  
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