Madurai (PTI): The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has issued notice to the Tamil Nadu Government seeking details about the 'illegal' practice of registering marriage agreements between couples.
Justices D Murugesan and M Satyanarayanan, constituting a Division Bench, ordered notice to the Inspector General of Registration while passing interim orders on a habeas corpus petition seeking production of a couple who eloped, entered into a wedding agreement and also got it registered.
The Judges said there was no provision for registration of such agreements and sought details from the IG before September 26. The court also appointed advocate M Ajmal Khan as amicus curie.
The advocate said such registrations could be misused by criminals involved in women trafficking and sexual exploitation. "How can the sub-registrars entertain such kind of agreements?" he asked.
There was no sanctity to such marriage agreements, it was not contemplated either under the Indian Christian Marriage Act or the Hindu Marriage Act, Khan said.
Even the Special Marriages Act, which provides a unique form of marriage for all Indian nationals irrespective of their religion, requires that the couple wishing to enter into wedlock issue a notice to the marriage officer who should display it in his office for 30 days.
The advocate said the couple who co-habitated on the basis of the marriage agreements should be punished under IPC 493 (cheating a woman by making her believe that she is legally married).