New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Central government’s reply on a petition challenging the procedure of issuance of public notice for 30 days inviting objections to the inter-faith marriage being registered under the Special Marriage Act.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked Centre and Delhi government to file a reply on the petition filed by an inter-faith couple and listed the matter for further hearing on November 27.
The petition, filed by advocates Utkarsh Singh, Md Tauheed and Mohd Humaid, sought to set aside the impugned procedure of issuance of public notice for 30 days inviting objections to the marriage as for solemnization and registration of marriages under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The inter-faith couple, in its plea, has sought directions to concerned authorities to register the marriage of the petitioners with immediate effect.
The petition sought to declare Sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act as null and void and ultra vires to the Constitution of India by holding it as illegal, null, void, ultra-vires and unconstitutional to the Constitution of India.
It also sought directions to respondents to decide the objections on the basis of undertaking and certificates issued by a government hospital or any other prescribed authority.
The petitioners submitted that they are directly affected and aggrieved by the impugned procedure for applying for registration of marriages under Sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 wherein public notice is issued inviting objections mentioned in section 4 of the SMA, 1954 to the marriage for next 30 days.
It submitted that objection under section 4(a) of the SMA, 1954 is based on a presumption and bias running against the inter-faith marriages and the same conditionality (neither party has a living spouse) can well arise in other religious marriages also but they are exempted from 30 days’ notice period depriving petitioners of their life and liberty.