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Allahabad HC makes display of notice for inter-faith marriages optional, says it 'invades Right to Privacy'

Couples who do not wish to display their interfaith marriage notice will have to make a written request to the marriage officer regarding the same, the Allahabad High Court has said.

January 13, 2021 / 09:39 PM IST
As per a provision of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, inter-faith couples are supposed to submit a notice of their union to the District Marriage Officer.

As per a provision of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, inter-faith couples are supposed to submit a notice of their union to the District Marriage Officer.

The Allahabad High Court said in an order passed on January 13 that mandatory display of notices for inter-faith marriages will be optional hence forth since it violates the concerned couples’ right to liberty and privacy of the couples.

Justice Vivek Choudhary observed that displaying notices would amount to invading the Fundamental Rights of liberty and privacy, reported News18. The high court further observed that interference from state and non-state actors due to the publication of the notice may affect the couple’s decision to get married.

The order, which is expected to bring huge relief to interfaith couples in a state that has passed the love jihad law, will now give the bride and the groom the option to not publish a notice announcing their union.

Couples who do not wish to display their interfaith marriage notice will have to make a written request to the marriage officer regarding the same.

The Allahabad high Court said: “While giving notice under Section 5, it shall be optional for the parties to the intended marriage to make a request in writing to the Marriage Officer to publish or not to publish a notice under Section 6.”

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In case the couple does not “make such a request for publication of notice in writing, the marriage officer shall not publish any such notice or entertain objections to the intended marriage”, the court added.

As per a provision of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, inter-faith couples are supposed to submit a notice of their union to the District Marriage Officer. It is then displayed in the office in case people want to object to the marriage within a month of the notice being displayed.
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