WHY IN NEWS ?
- The Supreme Court on Monday (August 28) observed that there is no blanket ban on advocates solemnising “self-respect” marriages under Section 7(A) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
WHAT ARE SELF RESPECT MARRIAGES ?
- On January 17, 1968, the Hindu Marriage (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 1967, received the President’s approval and became the law.
- This amendment modified the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, by inserting Section 7-A into it. However, it extended only to the state of Tamil Nadu.
- Section 7-A deals with the special provision on “self-respect and secular marriages”.
- It legally recognises “any marriage between any two Hindus”, which can be referred to as “suyamariyathai” or “seerthiruththa marriage” or by any other name.
- Such marriages are solemnised in the presence of relatives, friends, or other persons, with parties declaring each other to be husband or wife, in a language understood by them.
- Further, each party to the marriage garlands the other or puts a ring on the other’s finger or ties a “thali” or mangal sutra.
- However, such marriages are also required to be registered as per the law.
JUDICIARY vis-a-vis SELF RESPECT MARRIAGES :
- The Madras High Court had held in its 2014 ruling: “We are very clear in our mind that even the protagonists of the Suyammariyathai/Seerthiruththa form of marriage did not visualize marriages being solemnised in secrecy.
- The very idea of performing marriages with celebration is to publicly declare the marital status of the parties.
- Even Thanthai Periyar used to conduct Suyamariyathai form of marriages publicly so that the world recognised the status of the couples.
- Hence, celebration of marriage is not antithetical to Suyammariyathai/Seerthiruththa form of marriage.
- Therefore, we are of the opinion that a marriage conducted in secrecy with few strangers around, be it Suyammariyathai form, will not amount to solemnisation, as required under Section 7 & 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act”.
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