The Chief Information Commission yesterday directed the government and marriage registration authorities to widely publicise with the help of media that Aadhaar is not mandatory for the purpose of marriage registration scheme. Along with this the Chief Information Commissioner Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu also directed the marriage registration authority to make necessary required changes for online application for solemnisation of marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
The reason why this issue of Aadhar card in relation to marriage registration came to light was because an applicant submitted that the procedure for registering solemnisation of marriage under the Special Marriage Act makes Aadhaar card a mandatory document for generating receipt for 30 days’ notice, as options for other identity card is not available while applying online. This made it difficult for the newlyweds under the Special Marriage act as they were not able to legally register their marriage due to no Aadhaar card. The case of Justice K S Puttaswamy v Union of India, the Supreme Court was brought forward as it had been observed in this case that no person should suffer for the lack of an Aadhaar card. The commission said that the ruling in Writ Petition No. 494/2012: in the case of Justice K. S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India. In the said writ petition, a bench comprising Justice J. Chelameswar and J. Bobde had held in the ad-interim order of September 23, 2013 that no person should suffer for the lack of an Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that a government authority had issued a circular making it obligatory to submit the Aadhaar card to avail of certain facilities. The applicant also placed on record letter dated 24.3.2015 addressed by SDM-HQ-II to all Deputy Commissioners of Revenue Department of government of NCT of Delhi specifying that stern conformity of orders of Supreme Court in this regard was to be observed and any administrative instruction in violation of the order of Supreme Court will have no validity and will be considered as null and void.
According to the commission marriage registration should be compulsory as the registration of marriages would help tackle various women’s rights infringements such as child marriage, ensuring a minimum age, marriage without the assent, bigamous unions, besides a woman’s right to live in her marital home and receive maintenance , etc.
“As there is compulsion for registration of marriage; it is necessary that the government should make a convenient and well-manned infrastructure to facilitate the registration of all the marriages by appointing additional marriage officers,” the commission said
The appeal was disposed of with these recommendations: “In pursuance to the landmark judgment, of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court which ruled that Aadhaar card is not necessary for availing government scheme; the public authority and government should give widespread publicity through various media that Aadhaar is not mandatory for the purpose of marriage registration scheme and also make necessary changes for online application for solemnization of marriage under the Special Marriage act.