Marriage is said to be the union of two people out of their free will, a social and legal contract to be abided by. Marriage in India is performed either under personal laws or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Section 6 and 7 of the Act states that the officer must publish a notice of the marriage inviting the objections for the same for 30 days. If any such objection raised comes within Section 4 of the Act the court has the power to penalize or even declare the marriage void. Accordingly, the marriage would only solemnize after 30 days of publication of the notice. The same is not a requirement under any personal law.
This point had come before the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in a writ petition of Habeaus corpus filed by the petitioner. The golden rule of interpretation of the statute is that the plain meaning of the law must be accepted and if it penalizes any act it shall be considered mandatory. Accordingly, seeing the changing conditions, and a long chain of the decisions of the Supreme court the Hon’ble Judge has ordered that Section 6 and 7 must only be directory in nature. The mandatory condition of the section will enroch their fundamental right of privacy including the right to choose the partner without interference from family, state, and non-state factors. It also ordered that it must be communicated to State authorities as it will affect a larger amount of people