Kerala High Court: The Bench of N.Nagresh, J., directed the Local Registrar to register the marriage of couple living in Israel through virtual mode.
The petitioner is the father of one Mohan Sebastian. Mr. Mohan Sebastian married Mrs. Sonia Raju on 13-01-2020 and both of them were working in Israel. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the couple was unable to travel back to India and get their marriage registered before the Local Registrar. The couple had a child on 26-02-2021 but to obtain Birth Certificate and passport of the newborn child, Marriage Certificate from the Local Self Government Authority has to be produced before the Israeli Authorities.
Although, the couple had applied for registration before the local Registrar their application was rejected due to non-appearance of parties in person before the Registrar. The petitioner argued that due to the pandemic situation, his son and daughter-in-law were not in a position to travel from Israel to Kerala. However, they can appear before the Registrar by virtual mode. It was urged that unless the marriage is registered utilising virtual mode, the future of the newborn child will be put to difficulties and it will affect the family adversely.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, and also taking into account the pandemic situation prevailing and the impending lockdown, the Bench directed the Local Registrar to register the marriage of the petitioner’s son and daughter-in-law adopting video conferencing facility as expeditiously as possible. The reliance was placed by the Court on Mathew T.K. v. Secretary and Registrar of Marriages, 2020 (4) KLT 853. The petition was disposed of accordingly.
[Sebastian Thomas v. Local Self Government Department, 2021 SCC OnLine Ker 2180, decided on 04-05-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together
Appearance before the Court by:
Counsels for the Petitioner: Ajeesh S.Brite, Abhilash Augustine M., Stephy Joseph and Sereena P.A.