Magistrate`s marriage upheld after conversion to Christianity
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Last Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2011, 10:09
New Delhi: A Delhi court has upheld the marriage of a magistrate who tied the knot with his cousin after converting to Christianity, notwithstanding a court order barring him from the marriage on the ground of violation of Hindu laws.

Additional Sessions Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna endorsed the metropolitan magistrate's marriage to his first cousin after converting to Christianity, dismissing his father's plea objecting to the marriage.

The magistrate's father, himself a retired judicial officer of Delhi subordinate judiciary, sought a trial on the ground that his son illegally married his first cousin whom he could not wed as he was "not an Indian Christian."

The judge dismissed the plea, saying that "Finding no merit or substance in the plea, I dismiss it."

"It is well settled that prosecution has to be ordered by the court only in the larger interest of administration of justice and not to gratify feelings of personal revenge or vindictiveness or to serve the ends of a private party," the judge said while dismissing the plea.

As the sitting city metropolitan magistrate planned to marry his first cousin, his father moved the court and sought its intervention to stop his son from marrying her, contending that as per Hindu laws a man is barred from marrying his first cousin.

Though the plea was dismissed by the civil judge, he went in appeal to a higher court, which allowed his appeal and issued an injunction against the marriage.

The magistrate then converted to Christianity along with his would-be bride and got married at St Thomas Baptist church, Civil Lines, Delhi in November 2009.

The father rushed to a magisterial court, seeking his son's prosecution for marrying his first cousin by misusing the provisions of Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872.

As the magisterial court dismissed his plea, he moved the sessions court which too did the same.

At the sessions court, the father argued that mere conversion to Christianity only days before the marriage did not ensure his son as an Indian Christian under the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872.

He argued that only the original Indian Christian or at least the descendants of the converted Indian Christians are entitled to be married under the provisions of the Act.

His son, being a first generation Christian, could not have married using the provisions of the Act, he argued.

Rejecting the contention, the court said that it is not the logical interpretation of the expression 'Indian Christian'.

"The expression 'Indian Christian' includes Christian descendants of natives of India converted to Christianity as well as such converts. It is clear that any person of Indian origin, if converts to Christianity, would be an Indian Christian," it said.


First Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011, 10:09

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