The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the AAP government seeking their response in a petition challenging the 30-day public notice period to invite objections to the solemnization of marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Ministry of Law and the Delhi government, seeking their stand on the petition that also challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act.
The petition preferred by Nida Rehman and Mohan Lal stated that the ‘objections’ to marriage under the Special Marriage Act are mentioned under Section 4 of the Act and the same do not require any public notice as they can be ascertained through government certificates and undertaking by the parties. “Therefore, the period of 30-day notice is unnecessary, unwarranted, discriminatory and impinges upon the life and liberty of persons, including the right to privacy,” it asserted.
The petition contends that some objections, like unsoundness of mind of either party or they not having attained the age of marriage, that can be raised under section 4 of the Act “can be ascertained on the basis of certificates issued from a government hospital or any prescribed authority”.
“30-day period offers an opportunity to the kin of the couple to discourage an inter-caste or an inter-religion marriage and it is of paramount importance in the current scenario that couples opting into cross-community marriages are adequately protected,” read the petition.
Nonetheless, the bench said that the petition raises legal issues which need consideration and asked Monika Arora, the standing counsel for the Central government to mention her objections in her reply to the plea.
The matter has been scheduled for further hearing on November 27.