While hearing a bail petition filed by a POCSO accused, the Supreme Court refused to accept a marriage certificate issued by Arya Samaj. The bench rejected the petitioner’s plea who is accused of abducting and rape of a minor girl.
The petitioner has been booked under Section 363, Section 366A, Section 384, Section 376(2)(n) and Section 384 Indian Penal Code, and Section 5(L)/6 of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Two judge bench comprising Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Ajay Rastogi rejected the submission by the counsel representing the accused that the girl was a major at the time of marriage in Arya Samaj temple and a certificate was issued by the Arya Samaj temple. The bench refused to accept the marriage certificate that was issued by Arya Samaj.
“Arya Samaj has no business giving marriage certificate. This is the work of authorities. Show us the real certificate,” the bench stated.
Rajasthan High Court rejected the accused’s bail plea on May 5, 2022.
On April 4, the top court stayed a Madhya Pradesh High Court order which had directed Arya Samaj temples to solemnise the marriage in accordance with the provisions of the Special Marriage Act. The Supreme Court’s stay came on a plea filed by Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha and it had also sought a reply from the MP government.
On December 17, 2021, High Court upheld a single judge verdict where MBAPS was directed to amend its 2016 norms and incorporate the provisions of the Special Marriage Act within a month.
The order stated that marriage certificates should only be issued by competent authorities under the Special Marriage Act. The Pratinidhi Sabha had submitted that it was the Hindu Marriage Act and Arya Marriage Act that hold the field in Arya Samaj marriages and not the Special Marriage Act.