Scrap mandatory 30 day Notice for Inter-religion marriages

The commission said the Special Marriage Act, 1954, was considered a model law but it suffered from serious lacunae.

Scrap mandatory 30 day Notice for Inter-religion marriages
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NEW DELHI: The Law Commission has suggested deleting the requirement of 30-day notice from the Special Marriage Act as it “offers an opportunity to the kin of the couple to discourage an inter-caste or an inter-religion marriage”.

“It is of paramount importance in the current scenario that couples opting for cross-community marriages are adequately protected,” a consultation paper of the law panel on reform of family laws, released on Friday, said.

The commission said the Special Marriage Act, 1954, was considered a model law but it suffered from serious lacunae.

“One of the major problems highlighted in the series of consultations held by the commission was that the 30-day notice period after the registration of marriage under the Act is often misused. The 30-day period offers an opportunity to the kin of the couple to discourage an inter-caste or an inter-religion marriage,” the panel said.

The commission suggested that couples opting for cross-community marriages must be adequately protected.

Its suggestion is significant in view of honor killings in Haryana and other parts of the country and the misuse of power by khap panchayats in north India.

“It is suggested to the state of Haryana to suitably modify and simplify the court marriage checklist to bring it in line with the Act by minimal executive interference. It may restrict the list to conditions which account for fundamental procedure avoiding unwarranted overload of obstructions and superfluity,” the panel said.