New Delhi: Announcing a major judgment on inter-faith marriage, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday ruled that displaying a notice of inter-faith marriages is optional. The court, while making the ruling, called the practice a violation of the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy. Also Read - 'Freedom of Choice, Not Love Jihad': Court Scraps Hindu-Muslim Row, UP Govt Set For Crucial Meet Today
During the hearing, the court also stated that Sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriages Act, 1954 is wrong, and added that choosing a life partner of choice without someone’s interference is their fundamental right. Also Read - After Divorce, Husband Should Grant Maintenance Allowance to Wife And Kids, Rules Allahabad High Court
According to section of the Special Marriages Act, 1954, inter-faith couple is needed to submit a notice of the marriage to the District Marriage Officer. The notice is further displayed in the official’s office in case anyone wishes to raise an objection to the marriage within 30 days. Also Read - Hathras Case: Supreme Court Directs Allahabad HC to Monitor 'All Aspects' of CBI Probe
However, the court decided that the people who are getting married do not want their details to be made public, they can opt out of publishing a notice of their marriage. For such marriages, objections will not be considered valid.
Moreover, the marriage officer will have the option to verify the identity of both parties. The court remarked that such a step is centuries old, and is cruel and unjust to the younger generation.
The court said the publication of such notices “would invade in the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy”. The court also said that they would affect the couple’s freedom to choose marriage “without interference from state and non-state actors”.
Issuing 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”.