Madras High Court: In a Habeas Corpus petition filed to direct the respondents to produce the body or person of detenu (‘wife of petitioner') before this Court and set her at liberty, the division bench of M. Dhandapani* and R. Vijayakumar, JJ. held that there is no illegal custody of the detenu as alleged by the petitioner and directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to initiate disciplinary action against the Advocates who conducted invalid marriage of the petitioner and detenu.
In the case at hand, petitioner allegedly fell in love with the detenu and since she was a minor at that time, they decided to get married after some time. In the meanwhile, the parents of the detenu performed a child marriage without her will with another man. Thereafter, the detenu voluntarily came out from the parental home and went to the petitioner’s house. On 24-04-2023, the detenue and the petitioner got married. On 03-05-2023, respondent came to the house of the petitioner and forcibly took her away. Hence, this petition was filed.
The petitioner claimed that the marriage between the petitioner and the detenu was performed in the presence of Kanagasabai M.A.B.L., and Balamurugan, Deputy Secretary of State Legal Wing, District Trade Union, who claimed to be advocates and based on which, marriage was performed on 24-04-2023. A marriage certificate was also issued by the said advocates.
The Court wondered as to how the Advocates are authorised to perform special marriages in their office or Trade Union. Placing reliance on S. Balakrishnan Pandiyan v. Superintendent of Police, 2014 SCC OnLine Mad 8815 , the Court said that the marriage performed by the Advocates in their office is not a valid marriage, unless the marriage is registered under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 and the physical appearance of the parties to the marriage before the Registrar is essential. Thus, the marriage between the petitioner and the detenu is not valid. Further, the earlier marriage performed by the parents of the detenue was not questioned either by the detenue or her parents. Hence, the earlier marriage performed by the parents of the detenue is valid.
Hence, the Court directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to initiate disciplinary action against Kanagasabai M.A.B.L., and Balamurugan Deputy Secretary, State Legal Wing, District Traders Union, after issuing notice to them.
The Court further directed Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to initiate disciplinary action against the lawyers who are conducting these types of marriages all over Tamil Nadu by issuing fake certificates after providing opportunity to them within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
[Ilavarasan v. Superintendent of Police, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 2852, Order dated 05-05-2023]
*Order by: Justice M.Dhandapani
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner : Advocate R.Alagumani
For Respondents : Public Prosecutor S.Ravi Additional