The Supreme Court on Friday declined to accept a certificate issued by the Arya Samaj as proof of marriage, saying issuing such certificates was not the sect’s job but that of the government authorities.
The top was considering a bail application of an accused against whom FIR was registered for offences relating to kidnap and rape of a minor under the POCSO Act.
The accused’s lawyer told the top court that the prosecutrix in the rape case was a major, married to the accused. The accused also added the marriage was conducted at the Arya Samaj.
“Arya Samaj has no business giving marriage certificate. This is the work of authorities. Show the real certificate,” said the vacation bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and BV Nagarathna.
The recent SC verdict comes amidst a pending plea in the top cout of the Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha’, the nodal body of Arya Samaj temples, which has challenging an order of the HC directing it to solemnise marriage in accordance with the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
According to the HC, no one other than the competent authority under the Act, 1954, can issue certificates in such marriages while the temple body had said that in regard to the Arya Samaj marriages, it is the Hindu Marriage Act and Arya Marriage Act of 1937 that holds the field and not the Special Marriage Act.