Societal approval not a must for marriage

Bhubaneswar Bureau

CUTTACK, Dec.19, 2002:
If two majors marry, that cannot be nullified because their family or caste or community refuses to approve, ruled Orissa High Court in a landmark judgment. Marriage between two persons in permissible age is a matter of their mutual preference and hence, societal approval has no part to play in it.

The Family Court of Cuttack had rejected the prayer of one Basanti Mohanty of village Kapileswar of Kendrapada for alimony in 1999 on the ground that her alleged estrangement with Pariskhita Raut did not constitute a divorcement between a couple as her marriage with the later had no prior approval either of their family members, or from their caste or clan guardians. Sans societal recognition, the marriage itself being improper, demand for alimony on termination of that marriage must be held misconceived, the Family Court had said.

Terming this determination as an instance of non-application of mind to the case, the High Court disagreed with the Family Court and issued direction for payment of alimony with retrospective effect. {SCP}

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