New Delhi: The Madras High Court recently allowed the solemnization of virtual marriage with the groom being in the USA and the bride in India. The court had been approached by the bride for getting marriage certificate by allowing her to sign at the groom’s behest as she had a power of attorney to that effect.
Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madurai bench in the judgment narrated a similar situation Lord Ram found himself in: “The Hindu householder has to perform hundreds of ceremonies but not one can be duly performed according to the shastras, if he has not a wife to complement it with her part in it. Now Rama’s wife was not with him then, as she had been banished. So, the people asked him to marry again. But at this request Rama for the first time in his life stood against the people. He said, ‘this cannot be. My life is Sita’s’. So, as a substitute, a golden statue of Sita was made, in order that the ceremony could be accomplished.”
The court further observed: “If a golden statue of Sita can be a substitute for her physical presence, I have no hesitation to hold that virtual presence online would meet the requirements of law under Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.”
Justice Swaminathan further enunciated various instances where marriage by proxy had been allowed, such as marrying a Rajput warrior by garlanding his sword, the US soldiers during WW-I were allowed to marry by exchanging marriage contracts.
“Section 12 (2) of the Act states that the marriage may be solemnized in any form which the parties may choose to adopt. In this case, the parties have chosen the online mode. Since law has to keep pace with the march of technology, the choice of the parties herein very much passes legal muster,” reads the judgment.