The Kerala High Court on Friday ruled that a couple seeking to complete their marriage registration process can do so by appearing before the state's registrar through video conference.
The court order came in response to a petition filed by a couple hailing from Kerala's Kollam and residing in the US, who were denied their marriage certificate as they were not present before the registrar's office.
In August 2019, Sreelakshmi and Sanoop had submitted an application for the registration of their marriage but before the process was completed, Sanoop had to return to his work in South Africa.
The incomplete marriage registration hindered Sreelakshmi's visa application process and she was unable to join her husband abroad. So, she first filed a petition seeking a marriage certificate to secure her visa and then filed another petition with the Kerala High Court seeking permission to allow the registration through video conferencing.
The Court ruled in favour of the petition, directing the husband's representative, preferably one of his parents, to file an affidavit before the Local Registrar for Marriages. The court ruled that in Sanoop's presence through video conferencing, the representative would sign in the marriage register on his behalf.
However, the court also ruled that the husband must appear physically before the registrar within one year to sign the marriage register himself. If he fails to do so, the Registrar has the liberty of revoking the marriage registration.
While giving the order, Justice PB Suresh Kumar relied on the precedent of a similar matter that was disposed of in a similar way in the past. In 2014, the Delhi High Court had permitted marriage registration via video conference.