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Should Arya Samaj unions come under the Special Marriages Act?

The religious community argues before Supreme Court that the decision to impose SMA laws, infringes upon freedom or religion

Sabrangindia 05 Apr 2022

Arya samaj

Putting a stay on a Madhya Pradesh High Court order, the Supreme Court on April 4, 2022 started hearing arguments on whether Arya Samaj marriages should follow the Special Marriages Act (SMA), 1954, reported Live Law.

A Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy stayed an earlier High Court division bench order that directed the Arya Samaj to formalise marriages as per sections 5,6,7 and 8 of the SMA. In effect, this requires for notice of intended marriage, publication of notice, marriage notebook, objection to marriage, and the procedure.

Most worryingly for the sect’s nodal body Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, the order prohibits Arya Samaj temples from issuing marriage certificates and transfers the power to a “competent authority” as per the SMA. The Sabha also argued that the High Court decision violates Article 14, 25 and 26 of the Constitution, namely equality before the law, freedom to practice and propagate religion of choice and the freedom to manage religious affairs.

A High Court division Bench upheld this order after a single-bench judge heard a plea by an inter-caste couple in 2020 that argued it had married as per the Aryan tradition and wanted protection. Interestingly, the ‘Arya Mool Shankar Samaj Samiti’ that offered a temple to the couple too appealed against the single-bench decision to invoke SMA sections.

On Monday, the Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha approached the apex court to challenge the order. Accordingly, the Bench put a stay on the inclusion of SMA sections and also issued a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government.

In August, 2016 the Sabha had asked that all Arya Samaj temples affiliated to it comply with the Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937 and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 while performing marriages and strictly follow the procedure with respect to the proof of age of the parties and their mutual consent. However, during the hearing, it said the Samiti was not affiliated to the Sabha and that the High Court had transgressed into the domain of the Legislature.

Regarding notices and notebooks, the Sabha said that marriages between two Hindus does not require such conditions, as per the provisions of the two relevant Acts.

Related:

Haryana’s BJP gov't passes ‘anti conversion’ law

Post Poll Watch: Muslim woman allegedly threatened with triple-talaq after voting for BJP

No interfaith nikah sans parents' consent: MP’s Ulama Board’s latest diktat

SC issues notice in Guj gov't plea against HC stay on ‘anti-conversion law’

Should Arya Samaj unions come under the Special Marriages Act?

The religious community argues before Supreme Court that the decision to impose SMA laws, infringes upon freedom or religion

Arya samaj

Putting a stay on a Madhya Pradesh High Court order, the Supreme Court on April 4, 2022 started hearing arguments on whether Arya Samaj marriages should follow the Special Marriages Act (SMA), 1954, reported Live Law.

A Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy stayed an earlier High Court division bench order that directed the Arya Samaj to formalise marriages as per sections 5,6,7 and 8 of the SMA. In effect, this requires for notice of intended marriage, publication of notice, marriage notebook, objection to marriage, and the procedure.

Most worryingly for the sect’s nodal body Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, the order prohibits Arya Samaj temples from issuing marriage certificates and transfers the power to a “competent authority” as per the SMA. The Sabha also argued that the High Court decision violates Article 14, 25 and 26 of the Constitution, namely equality before the law, freedom to practice and propagate religion of choice and the freedom to manage religious affairs.

A High Court division Bench upheld this order after a single-bench judge heard a plea by an inter-caste couple in 2020 that argued it had married as per the Aryan tradition and wanted protection. Interestingly, the ‘Arya Mool Shankar Samaj Samiti’ that offered a temple to the couple too appealed against the single-bench decision to invoke SMA sections.

On Monday, the Madhya Bharat Arya Pratinidhi Sabha approached the apex court to challenge the order. Accordingly, the Bench put a stay on the inclusion of SMA sections and also issued a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government.

In August, 2016 the Sabha had asked that all Arya Samaj temples affiliated to it comply with the Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937 and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 while performing marriages and strictly follow the procedure with respect to the proof of age of the parties and their mutual consent. However, during the hearing, it said the Samiti was not affiliated to the Sabha and that the High Court had transgressed into the domain of the Legislature.

Regarding notices and notebooks, the Sabha said that marriages between two Hindus does not require such conditions, as per the provisions of the two relevant Acts.

Related:

Haryana’s BJP gov't passes ‘anti conversion’ law

Post Poll Watch: Muslim woman allegedly threatened with triple-talaq after voting for BJP

No interfaith nikah sans parents' consent: MP’s Ulama Board’s latest diktat

SC issues notice in Guj gov't plea against HC stay on ‘anti-conversion law’

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