The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the Delhi government to respond to a petition alleging that Muslim marriages are being registered under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), rather than the Compulsory Marriage Order, which allows for instant registration with no wait or notice.
Justice Rekha Palli gave the Delhi government three weeks to respond to the petition filed by an NGO called “Dhanak for Humanity” and an aggrieved individual.
Despite the fact that his marriage was a Muslim religious marriage and not an interfaith marriage, the petitioner claimed that he was forced to go through the process under the Special Marriage Act, which mandates a thirty-day delay before marriage registration.
The petitioner further stated that he and his spouse are Muslims, and that their marriage was solemnised on March 26, 2021, according to Islamic customs.
Later, the couple intended to register their marriage under the Compulsory Marriage Order, 2014, which allows marriages to be recorded without delay or notice. The Magistrate in whose authority the marriage was requested to be registered, however, refused to do so.
The Petitioner NGO-Dhanak for Humanity’s lawyer, Advocate Utkarsh Singh, argued that marriages solemnised under Islamic law are not recorded under the Compulsory Registration Marriage Order of 2014. As a result, the Special Marriage Act requires the parties to register their marriage.
Justice Rekha Palli urged the GNCTD’s counsel to seek instructions, citing the “short and fascinating grievance” in the case.
“I understand that these are two distinct methods. Marriages amongst Muslims should not be obliged to register under the SMA. I’ll look for instructions.”
As a result, the Court has given the Respondent three weeks to file its reply. If there is a rejoinder, it must be filed within two weeks.
The suit was filed on behalf of a Muslim couple from Uttar Pradesh who were compelled to flee to Delhi because their family were opposed to their marriage and threatened their lives.
The pair had to go through a lot of trouble to get married, and now they’re being compelled to register their marriage under the SMA, which, according to them, has “many issues.”
The legislation requires a minimum of 30 days’ notice before submitting a marriage objection. The case will be heard again on October 4th.