The Kerala High Court has permitted the online solemnisation of Rintu Thomas and Anantha Krishnan Harikumaran Nair, a lawyer couple, as the groom Anantha, who is in the UK, is unable to come to India due to the Omicron-related travel restrictions.
The couple decided to get married over a month ago but were deterred following the surge of the Omicron variant. Anantha had booked tickets for December 22 from the UK, where he is pursuing higher studies. The wedding was scheduled for December 23. However, currently, he is in no position to travel due to the worldwide Omicron outbreak.
Thomas moved the high court seeking that the state of Kerala and the Marriage Officer, in the Sub-Registrar's office at Malayinkeezhu in Thiruvananthapuram, permit them to get married online.
As per the plea, they had given notice to the intended union on November 11 as per the requirements of the Special Marriage Act which mandates a 30-day notice period before the wedding.
Justice N Nagaresh said that the high court had permitted online solemnisation of weddings during the pandemic when parties could not appear in person before the Marriage Officer. "I find no reason to deny the benefit extended to other parties to the petitioner and her fiance," the judge said.
The court further directed the Marriage Officer to solemnise or register the marriage through online mode subject to the conditions that the witnesses be physically present before the official and identify the parties who are online.
The Marriage Officer shall fix the date, time of marriage, and the online platform to be used. They shall also convey the same to the parties in advance, it said.
The court also directed the Marriage Officer to comply with its directions as expeditiously as possible on completion of the statutory formalities.