Rajasthan HC riders on Arya Samaj
JAIPUR: Arya Samaj will no longer be the first resort of rebellious couples looking to get married without parental consent. The Rajasthan high court has ruled that Arya Samaj marriages will be only after informing the parents and if they object, the couple must produce three "prominent persons" from each side as witnesses.
"The pious purpose of the Arya Samaj Mission has been lost by the local units in the state and they are becoming a tool for pacification of 'greed and lust' for girl and boy and once it is over, the marriage lands in courts, resulting in irreversible breakdowns," said Justice Dalip Singh who was on the bench along with Justice Sajjan Singh Kothari. "We fail to appreciate the Arya Samaj becoming a tool of such pacification. The persons running Arya Samaj are minting money by such quick marriages resulting in a serious problem in society."
The bench passed the order on a habeas corpus petition filed by Buddha Ram Meena (34) whose wife Maina Bhatt (18) was forcibly taken away by her parents after the couple married at an Arya Samaj centre.
The high court ruled that an Arya Samaj marriage will be solemnized only after it is approved and recommended by two distinguished persons each from both the partners' families. After the approval, the partners will have to present three prominent persons from both sides as witnesses to the marriage in case the parents object.
A notice of the intended marriage with the name of the boy and the girl has to be prominently displayed on a notice board at the district collectorate, local police station and the Arya Samaj office. A copy of the notice will have to be sent by registered post to the parents of the couple, the bench said.
The court further directed that at least six days' time be given to the parents to take a conscious decision on a "love marriage". "It takes them one hour to solemnize a marriage between an 18-year-old-girl and a 38 or 40-year-old gentleman which creates scars forever in the life of parents who bring up their children with great passion and aspirations. Such a marriage cannot be said to be correct. We cannot allow society to suffer due to the outcome of such a bad marriage," said Justice Kothari.
The court has asked the apex body of the Arya Samaj in India - Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha - to keep a check on its state units to ensure marriages are not solemnized between "mismatched" couples (with unusual age differences). The bench also ordered that Arya Samaj marriage certificates will have to be signed by the organization's president, secretary and the priest. No marriage at the Samaj will be registered by the local government bodies unless the certificate bears these three signatures.