Registration of Marriage Without Being Preceded by any Marriage Ceremony is Invalid: Madras HC

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court recently observed that mere registration of a marriage between a couple, without undergoing any marriage ceremony as per their respective personal law, would not confer any marital status upon the couple.

“It is mandatory for the parties to undergo those ceremonies of the marriage which are applicable to their respective religion. Only after a marriage is conducted as per the respective personal laws, the said marriage could be registered under the Act (Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009). Without undergoing the marriage ceremony, the marriage cannot be registered under the Act,” Justice R Vijayakumar said.

He made the observations while allowing a petition filed by a Muslim woman in 2015, seeking cancellation of her marriage with her cousin on the ground that he had married her forcibly by threatening to kill her parents. She claimed that no marriage ceremony, as per Islamic tradition, was conducted between her and her cousin.

The judge pointed out that the registering authority has a duty to verify that the parties have undergone the marriage ceremony as per their respective personal laws before registering the marriage.

“Without verifying the factum of marriage, the registering authority cannot mechanically register the marriage based upon the application presented by the parties. In case, if any marriage certificate is issued without being preceded by any marriage ceremony, it can only be considered to be a fake marriage certificate,” he observed and set aside the petitioner’s marriage certificate.

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