MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently directed the Inspector General of Registration to send a circular to all the marriage registering authorities in the State on the procedures to be followed for registration of marriages between Indian citizens and foreigners.
Justice S Vaidyanathan gave the direction so that such couples are not made to run from pillar to post for registering their marriages. The judge observed that the preamble of Special Marriage Act, 1954, does not prohibit marriage between an Indian Citizen and a foreigner. The only condition is that the parties to the marriage should have been residing within the district of the Marriage Officer for at least a month preceding the date of application for registration of the marriage, he pointed out.
“As far as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is concerned, the marriage should be between two Hindus,” he added.
However, confusing the Acts as well as the Citizenship Act, which prescribes that a foreigner, who has married an Indian citizen, must reside in India for at least two years to claim Indian citizenship, registration department officials refuse to register marriage between Indian citizens and foreigners, the judge noted.
“If the conditions have been fulfilled by the parties parties, naturally, there is no impediment for the authorities to register the marriage. The practice of government officials, demanding court orders for doing their duty should be stopped,” he observed.