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Kerala HC directs officer to solemnize marriage of foreign citizen

The petitioner apprehends that since one of the parties is a foreign citizen, the Marriage Officer would not proceed with the application.

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The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the marriage officer and sub-registrar, Varkala to solemnize and register the marriage, irrespective of the fact that the bridegroom is a foreign citizen.

Petitioner Yamuna P.J. informed the court that notice under Section 5 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 was submitted before the Sub-Registrar, Varkala on March 3, 2021 for solemnization and registration of marriage with one Ajit Kumar, who is a British citizen. The petitioner apprehends that since one of the parties is a foreign citizen, the Marriage Officer would not proceed with the application.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice P.V. Asha while considering the petition observed that the issue is covered by the judgment of the Kerala High Court in Vivan Varghese v. State of Kerala [2015 (3) KLT 21] where a similar case was considered when an Indian citizen wanted to marry a Finnish citizen.

The bench while referring the Judgement of the High Court in Rajeev v. State of Kerala [2001 (1) KLT 578] and in Marian Eva v. State of Himachal Pradech [AIR 1993 H.P.7], held that there is no prohibition under the Special Marriage Act for solemnization of the marriage between an Indian citizen and a foreign citizen i.e., “when one of the parties is a foreigner there cannot be any legal impediment.”

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“There shall be a direction to the 3rd respondent to process the application received from the petitioner in accordance with law without raising any objection on the ground that the bridegroom is a foreign citizen,” the Court ordered, disposing the petition.

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