[Breaking] Indians can marry foreigners under Special Marriage Act

Indian Parliament enacted the Special Marriage Act in the year 1954 providing an opportunity to all Indian nationals, including those who are resident of foreign countries to marry irrespective of their religious faith OR belief. In certain cases Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides a special form of marriage; provides registration of such marriages and also provides provisions for divorce.

In the give case between Devika Raj v. State of Kerala, came before the Honourable High Court of Kerala, decision of the Marriage Registration Officer prohibiting the petitioner from marrying a Canadian citizen under the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954 on the ground that, said Act does not apply in marrying a foreign national.

Hence, the question before the Honourable High Court was that, whether Indians can marry foreigners under Special Marriage Act? In this regard, court referred to earlier judgement in Rajeev v. State of Kerala ((2001 (1) KLT 578)), which relied on a decision of High Court of Himachal Pradesh in Marian Eva v. State of Himachal Pradesh ((AIR 1993 Himachal Pradesh 7)), where the Court categorically found that the Special Marriage Act does not contain any prohibition for solemnisation of the marriage, if one of the parties is a foreigner.

In order to get a marriage registered under the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954 the parties shall comply with the provisions of Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. In the given case, court observed that, the petitioner has duly complied said provisions.

High Court further interpreted the term “person” as mentioned in Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which does not indicate that either one of the parties or both the parties should be citizens of India.

In the light of above mentioned points, Honourable High Court allowed the petitioner to contract the marriage as she intended and instructed the Marriage Registration Officer to register their marriage under the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Read Full Judgement of Devika Raj v. State of Kerala

[Breaking] No night shifts for women employees in Kerala after 10 PM

In order to ensure the safety of women employees, Honourable High Court of Kerala held that, women employees cannot be asked to work beyond 10 PM. While considering the petition filed by a woman employee of Seetharam Textiles, Kerala High Court observed that, now a days, crime rate against woman are increasing, and therefore it is essential to have sufficient precautionary measures to safeguard working woman.

In the present, case between CL Cicily v. Seetharam Textiles Ltd., the petitioner alleged that, compelling a women employee to work during night shifts are violating Section 66(1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948. By virtue of Section 66(1) (b) of the Factories Act, 1948;

No woman shall be required or allowed to work in any factory except between the hours of 6 A.M. and 7 P.M.: Provided that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, in respect of any factory or group or class or description of factories, vary the limits laid down in clause (b), but so that no such variation shall authorize the employment of any woman between the hours of 10 P.M. and 5 A.M.

Kerala High Court, while allowing the writ petition, directed the employer to strictly adhere with the provisions of Section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, 1948. Court further stated that, women employees can be employed only up to 10:00 PM, subject to the compliance of terms and conditions issued by the State Government of Kerala vide its Circular dated 07.06.2003. Said circular read as follows;

That, women can be employed till 10 P.M. provided that the employer must provide free transport facilities to the women; ensure the presence of minimum of five workers including two women in a shift; and that the spread over time to a worker in a day shall not exceed 9 hours including rest period.

Read full judgement of CL Cicily v. Seetharam Textiles Ltd.