Publication of Notices for Inter-Faith Marriages No Longer Mandatory: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court has passed a landmark judgment that likely brings relief to inter-faith marriage. The Court on Wednesday said that the mandatory publication of Notices of Inter-Faith marriages will now be optional to protect the Privacy and Liberty of the Couple. The Court observed that the publication of the notice would “invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy”. Therefore, it has made it optional for the couple, they can now request in form of writing to a marriage officer to publish or not to publish a notice regarding the marriage.

The court said, “While giving notice under Section 5, it shall be optional for the parties to the intended marriage to make a request in writing to the Marriage Officer to publish or not to publish a notice under Section 6.”

A Habeas Corpus petition was filed by Safia Sultan who was married to Abhishek Kumar Pandey and changed her name to Simran after converting herself into Hindu.

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According to the Special Marriage Act, 1954, an inter-faith marriage couple is required to submit a notice of their marriage to the District Marriage Officer. The notice is further displayed in the official’s office and in case anyone wishes to raise an objection to the marriage can do it within 30 days.

Further, the court said,

In case they do not make such a request for publication of notice in writing while giving notice the Marriage Officer shall not publish any such notice or entertain objections to the intended marriage and proceed with the solemnization of the marriage.”

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The court, at last, said that such a step is centuries old, and is cruel and unjust to the younger generation and asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to communicate the ruling to all Marriage Officers and concerned authorities of the state.


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