[Special Marriage Act] ‘AI increased the possibility of impersonation’; Delhi High Court directs Indian National to appear before Indian High Commission in Canada and join video conferencing

delhi high court

Delhi High Court: A petition was filed by the petitioners seeking a direction to the respondents to allow Petitioner 2, who is working in Canada, to appear through video conferencing before the Registering Authority (Respondent 2) for the purpose of registration of their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Subramonium Prasad, J., directed petitioner 2 to appear before Indian High Commissioner in Canada and join the video conference to complete marriage formalities.

The marriage between the petitioners was solemnized in Delhi on 26-04-2023 as per Islamic rites and rituals. It is stated that for the purpose of registration of marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 an application was filed by the Petitioners before Respondent 2. Meanwhile, the petitioner 2 got a job offer in Canada and he moved to Canada.

The petitioner 1 filed an application before the Registering Authority to permit Petitioner 2 to join through video conferencing for the purpose of registration of their marriage which was thereby rejected by the Registering Authority. Aggrieved by this, the present petition was filed.

On the submission placed by respondent 2, the Registering Authority regarding that in view of the advancement in the technology in Artificial Intelligence, the possibility of somebody impersonating Petitioner 2 cannot be ruled out, the Court directed petitioner 2 to appear before the Indian High Commissioner at Vancouver, Canada on 21-08-2023.

Placing reliance on Reena Chadha v. Government of NCT of Delhi, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 4336, the Court allowed the petition. The Court directed Petitioner 2 to appear before the Indian High Commissioner at Vancouver, Canada and join the video conferencing from there.

[Madiha Shariq v. Govt of NCT of Delhi, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 4625, decided on 30-07-2023]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

Ms. Anam Siddiqui, Advocate for the Petitioner;

Ms. Mehak Nakra, GNCTD with Mr. Abhishek Khari, Advocate;

Mr. Anurag Ahluwalia, CGSC with Mr. Mohd. Salman, Mr. Shriram Tiwari, Mr. Nitin Agnihotri, Advocates for SFIO.

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