Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mad HC: Marriage Registration not Compulsory

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Dinamalar ePaper

Also read the realted stories

Marriage Registration not Compulsory: HC Bench

By Express News Service 

Published: 21st July 2015 11:26 PM

Madurai: In a significant judgment in a case of denied pension to the second spouse of a dead government employee, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court said registration of marriages was discretionary and the validity of a marriage could not be questioned just because it was not registered.

The petition was filed by R Thavamani, the second wife of Raju who retired as a Revenue Supervisor with Samayanallur division of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board in 2000 and died in September 2014. Raju married Thavamani in 1977 three months after his first wife, Durgai Ammal, died.

In her petition, Thavamani claimed she had three sons with Raju and the only son Raju had with Durgai Ammal was also under her care.

Soon after his death, Thavamani applied for family pension to the Superintendent Engineer of TANGEDCO, Madurai who forwarded her application to the Internal Audit Officer (Pension) after verifying necessary documents that proved that Thavamani was indeed the second wife of Raju.

However, the Internal Audit Officer rejected her application stating that the marriage registration certificate was not attached.

Setting aside the Internal Audit Officer's order, Justice S Vaidyanathan said that while Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act of 2009 made it mandatory to register all marriages, Section 23 of the same act stated that a marriage could not be deemed invalid just because it was not registered under the Act.

Moreover, the Judge said that while the act came into force only in 2009, Raju married Thavamani in 1977.

Citing provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and the Tamil Nadu Hindu Marriage Registration Rules, the Judge said it was "vividly clear that registration of marriage is only discretionary, not compulsory."

He further observed that questioning the validity of a marriage just because it was not registered "will not only collapse the entire system of marriage, but also create problems to the children born through the said marriage."

As Thavamani had given ample proof including her marriage invitation, Justice Vaidyanathan directed the Internal Audit Officer (Pension) to extend the family pension to Thavamani with all the due benefits calculated within two months.


Also read the related stories

Non-registration of marriage no ground for rejecting FPS: Madras HC

By PTI | 22 Jul, 2015, 01.08 AM IST

"The officer is directed to extend the family pension to the petitioner without insisting upon the certificate," the judge said.

MADURAI: Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that non-production of marriage registration certificate cannot be a ground for rejection of family pension to the wife of a government employee. 

Allowing a petition by 54-year old Thavamani, Justice S Vaidhyanathan held as unacceptable the argument of concerned officer that marriage registration certificate was mandatory and that unless or until the same was produced by the petitioner the family pension could not be extended. 

"The officer's order is set aside. The officer is directed to extend the family pension to the petitioner without insisting upon the certificate," the judge said. 

Petitioner had applied for family pension after her husband Raju, who had worked as Revenue Supervisor in Tamilnadu Power Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), died last year. 

The internal audit officer (pension) of TANGEDCO rejected her clami vide an order on April 27 last year for want of her marriage registration certificate as per the Tamilnadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. 

Assailing the order, the petitioner filed the petition in the court producing 12 documents, including marriage invitation, to prove that she is wife of the late Raju.  

Petitioner's counsel M Thirunavukkarasu submitted that the internal audit officer failed to see that the Tamilnadu Registration of Marriages Act came into force only from November 24, 2009 and prior to that there was no such compulsion. 

The Judge said the provision of the act gave an impression that registration of marriage was only optional. Besides The Hindu Marriage Act and Tamilnadu Hindu Marriage Registration Rules,also made it clear that registration of the marriage was only discretionary, not compulsory. 

The judge further said that non-registration of marriage would not give right to one of the spouses to contend or take a stand that there was no valid marriage. 

If such a stand was taken, it would not only collapse the entire system of marriage, but also create problem to the children born through the said unregistered marriage. 

Though the intention of the legislature was appreciable, there was a loophole for avoidance of registration of the marriage, the Judge said. 


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