e-notice for marriage stopped due to privacy issues

Complaints of misuse of uploaded photos, details

July 26, 2020 11:36 pm | Updated 11:36 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Registration Department had decided to discontinue the practice of uploading marriage notices on its website following complaints that they were being misused for spreading communal propaganda.

The department began uploading notices given under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which include photographs of the applicants and their addresses, in 2019.

However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Minister for Public Works and Registration G. Sudhakaran had received complaints that the notices were being downloaded from the website and misused for communal purposes.

The Inspector General of Registration, who looked into the matter, had recommended appropriate measures to curb misuse of personal information and invasion of privacy.

Last week, the department had decided to discontinue uploading the marriage notices on its website. From now on, the notices will be displayed only on the notice boards of offices concerned in the residential locations of the applicants, Mr. Sudhakaran said.

Couples who wish to solemnise marriages under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, are required to give notice to the Marriage Officer of the district “in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given.”

Objections in 30 days

Under the provisions of the Act, the Marriage Officer is required to affix a copy of the notice at a “conspicuous place” in his/her office. Objections, if any, to the proposed marriage can be filed within 30 days.

An amendment was later made to the rules to include the photographs of the applicants. Once the Registration Department began migrating its services to the digital platform, the notices also began to be uploaded on the department website from 2019.

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