Kerala

HC ruling on marriage certificate of people converted

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Verdict on a marriage between a native of Kerala to a Filipino

The Kerala High Court has held that once the Registrar of Marriages was satisfied that the marriage was conducted in accordance with the personal law applicable to the parties, he need not conduct further inquiry whether conversion to Hinduism or other religion by the other party is valid or not.

The High Court made the ruling while directing the Marriage Registrar (Secretary), Engandiyur Grama Panchayat in Thrissur, under Kerala Registration of Marriages (Common) Rules, 2008 to register the marriage of a Filipino woman with a native of Kerala belonging to Hindu religion.

The court held that the Registrar “is only duty bound to conduct a summary enquiry as to the legality of the marriage. The Registrar is not the competent authority to decide on the competency to marry or validity of such marriage. He needs to have a prima facie view that the marriage had taken place in accordance with the personal law applicable to the parties. Once such a satisfaction is entered by the Registrar, he need not conduct further enquiry to the fact whether conversion to Hinduism or other religion is valid or not.”

Action by Registrar

The verdict came on a petition filed by A.M. Pranav, from Thrissur and his wife, Arielle Seychelle Fosticon Lauro, against the action of Marriage Registrar in refusing to register their marriage.

According to the petition, Lauro got converted to Hindu religion after undergoing sacred ceremonies and rites held at Vallivattam Sree Ayyappa Temple, Thrissur and a certificate was issued in this regard by the temple authorities as well.

Their marriage was solemnised on September 13, 2016 as per the custom application to the community to which Pranav belonged.

The court further observed that “when a person declares that he is converted to Hindu religion, that would be sufficient for the public authorities to act. There is no formal ceremony of expiation necessary to effectuate a conversion to Hinduism. In the absence of any particular mode prescribed for conversion as a Hindu, without there being any malafides that can be pointed out, the public authority cannot refuse to act upon such request.”

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 6:37:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-ruling-on-marriage-certificate-of-people-converted/article24254776.ece

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