HC seeks details on registering marriage agreements

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Madurai, Sep 5 (UNI) A Madras High Court (HC) bench here has sought details from the Tamil Nadu government about the illegal practice of registering marriage agreements between couples.

While passing interim orders on a habeas corpus petition seeking production of a couple who eloped, entered into a wedding agreement and also got it registered, a division bench comprising Justice M Satyanarayanan and Justice D Murugesan said there was no provision for registration of such agreements.

The judges ordered notice to the Inspector General of Registration, Government of Tamil Nadu, seeking details about such registrations before September 26.

The judges appointed Advocate M Ajmal Khan as amicus curiae, who contended that such registrations could be misused by criminals involved in sexual exploitation and women trafficking.

He also questioned how the sub-registrars could entertain such kind of agreements. Stating that there was no sanctity to such marriage agreements, he said it was not contemplated either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Indian Christian Marriage Act.

He further said the Special Marriages Act, which provides a unique form of marriage for all Indian nationals irrespective of their religion, requires that the couple wishing to marry should issue a notice to the marriage officer who should display it in his office for 30 days.

Hence, the couple who co-habitated on the basis of the marriage agreements should be punished under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sec 493 (cheating a woman by making her believe that she is legally married), he said.

UNI GSM SKB RAI2009

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