Cochin: “It is unfortunate that the government is collaborating with the abuse of the Special Marriage Act,” said Fr. Varghese Vallikattu. A press release was issued on 24/07/2020 from the Office of the Minister of Public Works and Registration stating that notice of registered marriages has been directed to be published on the website of the Registration Department. KCBC stated that this could only be seen as a completely unscientific and irrational move.
The memorandum explains that the decision was made in light of the Registrar’s Inspector General’s report that action should be taken to stop the misuse of personal information of married persons. According to some media reports, the action was taken by a young man in connection with an incident in which the girl’s relatives may have intervened after receiving information about mixed marriages from the website.
Government agencies have a responsibility to clarify allegations of misuse of personal information. It is a mystery why unnecessary confidentiality registration procedures are required instead of taking legal action against those who misuse such personal information. In the context of Kerala, marriage is not a secret affair. If one thinks that marriage should take place without the knowledge of parents, relatives, or friends, there is a possibility that there may be some other ulterior motives behind it. Those who argue that the bride and groom have personal freedom in this matter for the sole reason of being of age and therefore it is appropriate to keep the marriage information secret;
Unlike in the past, it is imperative that marriage notices be published online in cases of mixed marriages between different districts and countries, secret marriages, and the possibility of malicious intent behind the marriage. It is not right to think differently where such things need to be reformed in a more transparent way given the changed circumstances.
The Government should take necessary steps to ensure that the parents/guardians of the bride and groom are clearly informed and to provide counseling and other facilities to the bride and groom to ensure that the marriages are transparent and not malicious. The marriages should be properly monitored to see if they are planned as part of any other purpose and the required questionnaire and certificate should be included as part of the registration. For Mirra marriages, police verification and reporting are also required by law. The Special Marriage Act requires that the forms used to register and maintain a marriage be updated from time to time and that computerization be fully implemented. Fr. Varghese Vallikattu said in a statement.