TN’s new circular on marriage certificate: Controversial parental consent clause changed
A day after TNM spoke to the Inspector General of Registration regarding a controversial circular issued by the government which seemingly asked for parental consent for marriage registration, a new circular has been issued to the Registration Department in the state with changes provided on three out of four points contained in the original circular.
Firstly, the circular says an Aadhaar card is no longer compulsory for the couple to register their marriage. According to the old circular, an Aadhaar card is acceptable as identification for the couple, their parents as well as the witnesses. The circular added that Aadhaar, however, cannot be used as citizenship proof or address proof.
The revised circular states that while Aadhar can be accepted as a proof of identity for marriage registration, it is not mandatory for the couples to submit their cards.
Secondly, the circular says the names and initials of the couple and witnesses must be thoroughly verified. The older circular said the names and initials provided by the couples and their parents should match the ones in the proofs submitted. The word ‘parents’ stands removed in the new circular.
Regarding the third point, the circular says if parents of the couple are deceased, it is enough if 'Late' is mentioned before their name. Death certificates of the deceased parent(s) are not required. Earlier, the original death certificate of the concerned parent was needed for verification.
There is no change in the status for widowers from the previous circular. If the bride or groom happens to be widowed, they should submit the original death certificate of the deceased spouse, which has to be verified and a copy has to be retained by the registrar.
TNM had earlier pointed out that while the circular nowhere explicitly asks for the physical presence of parents, three out of four points imply communication with parents.
According to the Hindu Marriage Act, only the couple and three witnesses are required for the registration of the marriage.
For thousands of inter-caste couples across the state who have had to leave their parental homes for a shared future, the older circular made it all the more difficult to legally register their marriage.
Speaking to TNM, the Inspector General J Kumaragurubaran admitted that this was a problem and that it would be looked into. Reassuring couples in the state, he had said, “This is not binding. The Act is supreme. The circular is internal and for executive purposes. If this is causing hardships, we will definitely look into changing it.”
All officials are required to follow the instructions and they're required to acknowledge that they've received this circular to all the concerned authorities.