A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the case of he State of Haryana v. Ami Ranjan and Others has held that a marriage certificate for a marriage which was solemnized under Special Marriage Act, 1954 can be granted to a couple through video- conferencing as well.
The bench comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and Justice V. Ramasubramanian dismissed the appeal filed by the State of Haryana and upheld the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court division bench comprising of Justices Ritu Bhari and Archana Puri.
The apex court has also directed the Police Commissioner- cum marriage officer to execute the High Court’s directions in this case within a 45- day time period.The court also as an oral observation said that technology and the law should walk with each other in harmony.
In this case the court was dealing with a couple who solemnized their marriage under the Special Marriage Act 1954 and then they went back to their place of occupation: UK and United States. They filed an application for registration of marriage before the Deputy Commissioner cum marriage officer and also requested that the wife be available for this purpose through video- conferencing. The date given by the registering officer lapsed as Covid-19 had struck India as well.
A second plea was filed to allow the wife to appear through video-conferencing as she was put in medical duty in USA. The marriage registrar dismissed the second plea.
The husband therefore filed a petition under regular bench which dismissing the plea said that no section of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954. The judge observed that no-provision under HMA for registration of marriage without in- person presence of the other spouse and dismissed the plea.
Aggrieved by the judgement a plea was after division bench of High Court which allowed registration through video – call presence of the wife.