Arya Samaj weddings legal only for followers: Kerala HC
By Mahir Haneef, TNN - Mar 9, 2013, 11.55 PM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court has ruled that the Arya Samaj cannot conduct marriages between people if they are not followers of the samaj and it will not be legally valid if it takes place.
Arya Samaj mandirs are found in all Indian cities and towns and solemnize love, arranged, inter-religion and inter-caste marriages.
The ruling was given by a division bench of justices Pius C Kuriakose and P D Rajan while considering the case of a Muslim woman and a Hindu man who married at an Arya Samaj mandir in Kozhikode on December 28 last year.
The court was considering a habeas corpus petition filed by father of the girl Raihana (name changed), alleging that his daughter was being illegally detained.
Appearing in court, Raihana told the judges that she was married and was living with the man.
Disagreeing to accept their marriage as valid, the court said, "We have carefully examined the certificate of marriage as well as pramanapathram. Neither claimed before us that they are Arya samajists. The man told us that he continues to be a Hindu while Raihana told us that she believes in both religions. Having regard to the Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937, it is very clear to our mind that it is not a valid marriage."
When the couple told the court that they were in love and wanted to marry at any cost, they were told to get married according to the Special Marriage Act. It is the statute for solemnization of marriage between people of different religions.