The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre on a plea which has challenged validity of some provisions of the Special Marriage Act which require two adults to put personal details in public domain for scrutiny before their wedding and they might have a “chilling effect” on the fundamental right to marry and privacy.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde agreed to hear the petition filed by a Kerala-based law student who has claimed that some provisions of the Special Marriage Act violates the fundamental rights of couple intending to marry, depriving them of their right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.Issue notice, the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said.
During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the bench asked the counsel appearing for the petitioner, You tell us what is the solution? .
The moment you delete these, the people for whose benefit it was enacted will suffer, the bench observed.
The counsel appearing for petitioner Nandini Praveen referred to the apex court’s landmark verdict declaring Right to Privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution.
You are saying about privacy and that the whole world comes to know about it. But look at its positive point also, the bench observed.
The plea has sought striking down of sections including 6(2), 7, 8 and 10 of the Special Marriage Act as “unjust, illegal and unconstitutional”.
“Publication of personal details often might have a chilling effect on the right to marry. In other words, couples are asked to waive the right to privacy to exercise the right to marry. This infringes the rights of autonomy, dignity and the right to marry, of various couple,” the plea has said.
“This writ petition is challenging certain provisions of the Special Marriage Act for those violate the fundamental rights of the citizens under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. The impugned provisions require the parties to the marriage to publish their private details, open for public scrutiny, before 30 days of intended marriage, it said.
The lawyer said the petitioner has raised the issue of privacy and also about dignity of individuals.