Interfaith couple’s ‘marriage’ put on hold endlessly

Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh): Four months ago, a 27-year-old Muslim man had allegedly ‘eloped’ with a girl from another faith to get married, which had created a lot of sensation. The man was later caught and jailed for over a month.

The couple has since been waiting for permission from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to get ‘legally’ get married but has been asked to wait for another month.

The couple has an Allahabad high court order, giving them freedom to get married and an exemption from notice period under special circumstances by the marriage officer.

SDM Sadar area, Vishu Raja, said, “The law favours the couple, but they would have to wait for a police report to ensure there is no law-and-order issue. The couple had come with their friends who agreed to sign as witnesses on Saturday but the girl’s family is still against the marriage.”

The SDM said that the couple represented themselves personally, as well as through their legal counsels, for the application of marriage under the special act. They produced an Allahabad high court order which stated that days of notice period can be exempted under special circumstances by the marriage officer.

“The judgement favours them. However, we are seeking a verification report on 12 points to ensure that neither of the persons is already married, their actual place of residence, possibility of law-and-order issue, etc. Police report is crucial here as well. This proceeding may take less than 30 days to complete and the permission would be granted to the couple for marriage after that,” said the SDM.

In January, the Allahabad high court had held that the requirement of publication of notice of intended marriage under Section 6 and inviting/entertaining objections under Section 6 and inviting/entertaining objections under Section 7 of the Special Marriage Act is not mandatory.

Justice Vivek Chaudhary had observed that making such publication mandatory would invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy.

The couple, it may be recalled, had eloped on October 17.

A few days later, scores of members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a protest and vandalised the Quila police station, alleging inaction on ‘love jihad’.

The couple was later tracked to Rajasthan and the man was put in jail. He was later released on bail.

Bareilly’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rohit Singh Sajwan told reporters, “Police do not have any objection to the marriage. We may even provide them security in case they are threatened by their family or relatives.”