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Should Cyber Marriages be Banned

We have seen immense interest in recent days on the legality of "Cyber Marriage".

Already opinions have been expressed by eminent lawyers on the issue. The substance of the views is that since "Saptapadi" is the essence of the Hindu Marriage and therefore a Cyber marriage is not feasible, the existence of the "Registered Marriage" concept opens up other possibilities.

Though the importance of the Saptapadi is based on the court judgement, I consider that this reflects the north Indian custom and does not reflect the south Indian custom. Perhaps tieing of the Mangala Sutra is considered the more defining  moment of a Hindu Marriage in South India. This may require some debate.

Readers may be interested to note that a complaint was filed some time back in Chennai Cyber Crime Police Station by a person stating that the lady whom he married on the Internet has been kept away from him by the family and Police should take action on the same. The person claimed that they married on a Chat room on the Internet. However since the case could not be substantiated with any documentary evidence, it has not been pursued with.

It was even more interesting that the person wanted Naavi to be the "Cyber Purohit" and certify the event under Cyber Evidence Archival Center. (ceac4india.com). Obviously it could not be done since the event did not happen in the presence of Naavi and under conditions that would be required to certify a Cyber Event. Otherwise it would have perhaps been an interesting assignment.

According to the undersigned, if a marriage is possible by a "Written Contract", Cyber Marriage is also  possible. If the Registrar of Marriages is willing, it is possible to create a digital marriage registration system.

But it is not so much about the legality of such a marriage as much as the desirability that we should debate.

If for some reason,  Section 1(4) of ITA-2000 does not exclude marriage contracts and therefore we can interpret that marriage by cyber contract/registration  may be feasible, it is the view of the undersigned that it may be recommended that  ITA-2000 is amended to notify that "Any Contract of Marriage" is outside the scope of ITA-2000. Perhaps this may be considered straight away since an amendment of ITA-2000 is being processed.

I request viewers to send their views in this regard for onward transmission to Ministry of Communications and Information and Technology. Interested persons may send their views on "Should Section 1(4) be amended to include 'Any Contract of Marriage' as an exclusion from ITA-2000."


May 1, 2005

Related Articles:

Digital Marriage..Geeta Narula

Cyber Matrimony..Praveen Dalal


[Ed: Views expressed herein are the vies of the author only]

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