Lucknow, January 13: The Allahabad High Court in an important judgment on Wednesday ruled that the requirement of publication of notice of intended marriage under Section 6 and inviting/entertaining objections under Section 7 of the Special Marriage Act is not mandatory. The Court said that it is up to the marrying couple to decide whether or not a public notice inviting objections should be published or not prior to their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
According to a report by Bar and Bench, the Court said, "Under Sections 6 and 7 of Act of 1954 the persons intending to solemnize a marriage are required to give a notice and the Marriage Officer thereafter is made duty-bound to publish the notice for a period of 30 days and invite objections with regard to the same". Special Marriage Act, 1954: Are You Eligible to Marry? What Is the Process of Court Marriage? All Questions Related to Registered Wedding Answered!
Justice Vivek Chaudhary ruled that requirement of publication of notice under Section 6 and inviting/entertaining objections under Section 7 of the Special Marriage Act can only be read as directory in nature, to be given effect only on request of parties to the intended marriage and not otherwise. The ruling added that while giving notice under Section 5 (Notice of intended marriage) of the 1954 Act, 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 and follow the procedure of objections as prescribed under the Act of 1954.
According to Live Law, the Allahabad High Court was hearing the habeas corpus petition alleging that an adult girl is being detained against her wishes to marry her lover who belongs to different religion. The report adds that the couple submitted before the Court that they could have solemnized their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, but the said Act requires a 30 days notice to be published and objections to be invited from the public at large.