Allahabad High Court refuses to validate marriage on the basis of certificate from Arya Samaj

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed an appeal saying that merely getting a marriage certificate from Arya Samaj is not proof of a valid marriage.

The Division Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV passed this order while hearing a first appeal filed by Ashish Morya.

The appeal has been filed praying to set aside the order dated 09.09.2022 in Case under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Saharanpur whereby the case filed by the plaintiff-appellant under Section 9 of the Act, 1955 has been dismissed.

The facts of the case are that the plaintiff appellant had earlier filed Case under Section 9 of the Act, 1955 which was subsequently withdrawn by him stating that he does not want to press the case for the reason that a compromise has been entered and satpadi ceremony was not performed for marriage.

Again he filed Case under Section 9 of the Act, 1955 which has been dismissed by the judgment dated 09.09.2022. Aggrieved with this judgement, the plaintiff-appellant filed the appeal.

In her written statement, the defendant-respondent has clearly denied any marriage between her and the plaintiff-appellant. She made several allegations in her written statement and specifically stated the story of marriage is totally false and in fact there was no marriage at all and the plaintiff-appellant is regularly attempting to black mail her.

She has also lodged an FIR dated 04.10.2021, under Sections 384, 328, 506, 376, 427 and 504 IPC, Police Station Sadar Bazar, District Saharanpur in which a charge sheet has been filed by the police.

Restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Act, 1955, inasmuch as cause of action and the relief sought in both the suits were identical and the earlier suit was got dismissed by him as not pressed in the absence of a valid marriage.

Therefore, we do not find any illegality in the impugned judgment holding that the second suit i.e Suit no 269 of 2022 filed by the plaintiff appellant was barred by the provisions of Order II Rule 2, CPC and, therefore, the suit was rightly dismissed by the court below.

Question No - (b) Whether the marriage certificate issued by Arya Samaj is proof of a valid marriage?

Arya Samaj, a vigorously reforming sect of modern Hinduism, founded in the year 1875 by the great saint and reformer Swami Dayanand Saraswati; is a reformist movement which believes in one God and in the Vedas as the books of true knowledge. The Arya Samaj opposes the caste system based upon birth as unvedic and insists that castes should reflect merit. The Arya Samaj has sought to revitalize Hindu life and instill self-confidence and national pride amongst Hindus with the watchword of Swami DayaNand “Back to the Vedas”.

From the judgment of the Supreme Court of Seema vs Ashwini Kumar (2006) 2 SCC 578, the Court noted that though the registration itself cannot be a proof of valid marriage per se, and would not be the determinative factor regarding validity of a marriage, yet it has a great evidentiary value. The plaintiff-appellant has neither led any evidence nor filed any certificate of marriage as proof of marriage under Section 8 of the Act, 1955 read with the Uttar Pradesh Hindu Marriage Registration Rules, 1973 or the Uttar Pradesh Registration of Marriage Rules, 2017.

signature on some papers alluring her for providing employment.

The defendant-respondent has also made serious allegation of rape etc against the plaintiffappellant and lodged FIR under Sections 384, 328, 506, 376, 427, 504 IPC, P.S Sadar Bajar in which chargesheet has also been filed by the police. Thus, in the absence of a valid marriage, the marriage certificate of Arya Samaj is not proof of a valid marriage of the plaintiff-appellant and the defendant-respondent.

Section 9 of the Act, 1955 provides for restitution of conjugal rights. It provides that when either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.

"The explanation appended to Section 9 of the Act, 1955 provides that where a question arises whether there has been a reasonable excuse for withdrawal from the society, the burden of proving a reasonable excuse shall be on the person who has withdrawn from the society. Since in the set of facts, there is no proof of valid marriage, therefore, the court below has not committed any error of law to dismiss the suit.

In our view, existence of a valid marriage is a precondition to ask for relief of restitution of conjugal rights. In the absence of proof of a valid marriage, under the facts and circumstances of the case; the court below has not committed any error of law to dismiss the suit observing that merely getting a marriage certificate from Arya Samaj is not proof of a valid marriage", the Court observed while dismissing the appeal.