DEHRADUN: In a significant judgment, the Uttarakhand high court has ruled that the Arya Samaj is not legally authorized to issue marriage certificates to couples after solemnization marriages.
A bench of Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Sarvesh Kumar Gupta delivered the judgment on Tuesday on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Nainital resident Anant Naithani.
The PIL had challenged the validity of marriage certificates issued by Arya Samaj saying as there was no provision under the Arya Samaj Marriage Validation Act of 1937 allowing it to issue such certificates. Such certificates should be treated as illegal, it pleaded.
Arya Samaj is the only non-judicial socio-cultural organization that issues certificates after solemnizing marriages at Arya Samaj temples.
The bench said those who participate in these ceremonies can be treated as witnesses to testify on the veracity of the marriage in court but certificates can only be issued by a legally competent officer as laid down by the Hindu Marriage Act.