Pranav Kumar Mishra & Anr. v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr, 2009 SCC OnLine Del 725 - Synopsis
Ahir Mitra 21 May 2021

Pranav Kumar Mishra & Anr. v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr

2009 SCC OnLine Del 725

The legitimacy of the procedure adopted by the competent authority under the Special Marriages Act, 1954 to paste a notice of the couple's intended marriage at their respective residences were the subject of the petition. Both the first and second petitioners are Indian citizens and permanent residents of Delhi, and they are of marriageable age as required by the Act. They aim to marry in accordance with the requirements of the Act. They went to the Registrar of Marriages' office at Deputy Commissioner North for this purpose.

They contend that after further inquiry, they were informed of the mechanism in which a copy of the "Notice of Intended Marriage" as required under section 5 of the Act, will be posted on the Registrar's Notice Board for the general public's information and to invite objections. They were also advised that another copy of the "Notification of Intended Marriage" would be delivered to the parties' respective addresses, and that a notice might be sent through the S.H.O. of the involved jurisdiction's police station for the purpose of verifying the residence address.

It is also said that the petitioners made an application under the Right to Information Act to confirm the above-mentioned procedure, but they did not receive a suitable response. The petitioners argue that the approach used is arbitrary and unconstitutional and that it is in violation of the Special Marriage Act of 1954, which requires publication of the notice at the parties' addresses and verification of the address by the S.H.O. They do not want the aforementioned notice sent to their addresses.

The Delhi High Court stated in the matter that Section 5 contemplates that the parties to the marriage be given a notice to the Marriage Office indicating that they have been staying at the provided address for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date when such notice is given, and Section 6 considers that the parties to the marriage be provided notice to the Marriage Office indicating that they have been staying at the provided address for not less than 30 days immediately before the date when such notice is given. The notice received by the Marriage Office must be entered in a register that is open to anyone who wishes to see it, and every such notice must be published by affixing a copy of it in a prominent location in the Marriage Officer's office.

In the case, Govind v. State of T.N.[1]The Petitioner's concerns and fears are well-founded. In the absence of any legal requirement as is the case for sending notices to home addresses in case of marriage solemnization, in terms of Sections 4 and 5, their delivery can easily amount to a violation of the right to privacy, which every individual has. As a result of the aforesaid, the Delhi High Court concluded that the process of affixing the notice at the parties' domicile is neither required nor permitted by law. It has been determined that this would constitute a violation of the individuals' privacy.



[1] (1975) 2 SCC 148.

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