Personal Appearance For Marriage Registration Includes Online Mode: High Court

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The Delhi High Court Thursday said the requirement of personal appearance before the authority concerned for registration of marriage would include appearance through video conferencing.

Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing a plea by a US-based couple seeking registration of their marriage through video conferencing, stated that the high court had permitted registration of a marriage through virtual mode earlier as well — in 2007 when the use of video conferencing was at a very nascent stage.

“I find that.. (the requirement of) personal appearance would include appearance through video conferencing,” asserted the judge who said she will “allow the petition” seeking permission for virtual appearance before the registering authority.

“You will get the order in a day or two,” the judge added.

In the present case, the couple claimed that their marriage was solemnised through Hindu rites and rituals before the registration of marriage was made compulsory in 2014.

Since the couple relocated abroad, they were unable to get their marriage registered under the Delhi (Compulsory Registration of Marriage) Order, 2014, it was stated.

Considering that their application for a green card was not being processed in the United States of America for want of a marriage certificate, the couple approached the local authority here for issuance of a marriage certificate, who maintained that physical presence of the parties was a mandatory requirement.

The couple moved the high court after their representation to the SDM for virtual appearance remained unanswered.

Counsel for the couple stated that several high courts have passed orders allowing virtual appearance of parties for registration of marriages.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel ban imposed by several countries, the lawyer said that virtual presence ought to be allowed.

Delhi government counsel argued that the physical presence of a couple seeking registration of marriage was mandatory and the process could not be undertaken through video conferencing as it required taking a “live photo”.

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