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Home / India / Interfaith marriage: HC rules publication of notice optional

Interfaith marriage: HC rules publication of notice optional

‘Making this declaration mandatory would invade fundamental rights of privacy’
The Allahabad High Court's Wednesday  judgement comes against the backdrop of a recent controversial law enacted by the Uttar Pradesh government, which prohibits forcible conversion for the sake of marriage.

Our Bureau, Agencies   |   Allahabad   |   Published 13.01.21, 10:12 PM

The mandatory publication of notice of interfaith marriages under the Special Marriage Act was made optional on Wednesday by the Allahabad High Court in a move that is likely to bring relief to such couples.

Passing the order, the HC said it violated the Right To Privacy. “Making such publication mandatory would invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy,” the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court said.

It would also affect the couple's freedom to choose marriage “without interference from state and non-state actors”, Justice Vivek Chaudhary said.

He said it shall be optional for the parties to the intended marriage to make a request in writing to the marriage officer to display or not to display such a notice.

“If the couple did not intend so, the marriage officer has to solemnise their marriage forthwith without publication of 30 days notice,” the court said.

A section of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, requires an interfaith couple to give written notice of the marriage to the district marriage officer.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition alleging that an adult girl is being detained against her wishes to marry her lover who belongs to a different religion.

The judgement comes against the backdrop of a recent controversial law enacted by the Uttar Pradesh government which prohibits forcible conversion for the sake of marriage. The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, prohibits conversion of religion by marriage to be unlawful.

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