Kerala HC examines whether or not wedding ceremony beneath Special Marriage Act may be solemnised by way of video conferencing

Whether a marriage beneath the Special Marriage Act (SMA) may be solemnised by way of video conferencing was a query being examined by the Kerala High Court, which on Thursday reserved its choice on the problem.

Justice P B Suresh Kumar heard arguments on behalf of the state authorities, which isn’t in favour of on-line solemnisation of marriages beneath the Act, and a number of other petitioners who’ve contended that private bodily presence of the bride and groom just isn’t essential for solemnisation of nuptials beneath the legislation.

The state authorities mentioned that beneath the Act, solemnisation of marriage was necessary previous to registering it beneath the SMA and due to this fact, presence of the 2 sides and the witnesses is required earlier than the Marriage Officer.

It additionally mentioned that if on-line mode of solemnisation was permitted, it will mandate sustaining of an digital register of marriages and establishing an internet mode of fee each of which aren’t in place presently.

It additionally mentioned that one other requirement for solemnisation of the wedding was that at the least one of many two events must be resident of the world inside the territorial limits of the Marriage Officer for minimal 30 days previous to issuing the discover of the meant nuptials.

Therefore, two individuals living overseas can’t have their marriage solemnised on-line if they don’t fulfill the residence requirement.

The petitioners have contended that when marriages beneath SMA may be registered on-line, due to this fact, solemnisation too doesn’t want bodily presence of the events concerned.

They have claimed that there are numerous judgments which say that showing by way of video conferencing is akin to being current in particular person with the only real distinction that events can’t be touched.

They mentioned that beneath SMA the wedding may be solemnised by any means, like alternate of garlands or shaking of arms, so long as each events make the declaration that they take one another because the lawfully wedded husband and spouse.

They additionally mentioned that signatures may be submitted by way of digital format and the identical was recognised beneath the Information Technology Act.

After listening to substantial arguments from all stakeholders, the court docket reserved its order in all of the petitions earlier than it on the problem of on-line solemnisation of marriages beneath SMA.

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