தந்தை பெரியாரின் சுயமரியாதைத் திருமணத்தை பின் வழியே ஒழிக்க முயலும் பார்ப்பன சதி!
மக்கள் உரிமைப் பாதுகாப்பு மையம் எதிர்ப்பு!
தந்தை பெரியாரின் மிக நீண்ட போராட்டத்திற்குப் பிறகு கடந்த 1967-ம் ஆண்டு திராவிட முன்னேற்றக் கழக ஆட்சியில், இந்து திருமணச் சட்டத்தில் பிரிவு 7-A எனத் திருத்தம் கொண்டு வரப்பட்டு சுயமரியாதைத் திருமணம் செல்லுபடியாக்கப்பட்டது. இதுவே முதல் தி.மு.க. ஆட்சியில் கொண்டுவரப்பட்ட முதல் சட்டமாகும். இந்தியாவின் வேறெந்த மாநிலத்திலும் இந்த முற்போக்கான திருமணம் செல்லாது என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.
பார்ப்பன புரோகிதர் இல்லாமல் நடைபெறும் திருமணம் சட்டப்படி செல்லும் என்னும் இச்சட்டத் திருத்தம் வரலாற்று முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்தது. இச்சட்டப்படி தமிழகத்தில் ஆயிரக்கணக்காண திருமணங்கள் நடந்துள்ளன; நடந்து வருகின்றன.
இந்நிலையில் கடந்த 2014-ம் ஆண்டு சுயமரியாதைத் திருமணத்தை ஒழித்துக் கட்டும் வேலையின் முதற்கட்டம் நீதித் துறை மூலம் அரங்கேறியுள்ளது. சுயமரியாதை திருமணத்திற்கு உரிமை கொண்டாடும் தி.க. மற்றும் தி.மு.க.வினர், வழக்கம் போல் இப்பிரச்சனையையும் கண்டுகொள்ளவில்லை.
சிதம்பரம் நடராஜர் கோவில் மற்றும் அனைத்து சாதியினர் அர்ச்சகராகும் பிரச்சனை மற்றும் வழக்குகளில் ஒதுங்கிக் கொண்டதைப் போலவே இதிலும் நடந்து கொண்டுள்ளனர். கருணாநிதியும், வீரமணியும் எதற்காக கோடிக்கணக்கில் பணமும், இலட்சக்கணக்கான தொண்டர்களையும், நூற்றுக் கணக்கான வழக்கறிஞர்களும் வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள் எனத் தெரியவில்லை.
இருந்தாலும், பார்ப்பனீயத்திற்கெதிரான தந்தை பெரியாரின் பணிகளை தக்கவைப்பதும், தொடர்வதும் நமது கடமை. அந்த வகையில் மக்கள் உரிமைப் பாதுகாப்பு மையம் சுயமரியாதை திருமணத்தைக் காக்க களமிறங்கியுள்ளது. அதன் முதற் கட்டமாக 2014(6)CTC 129 சென்னை உயர்நீதிமன்ற தீர்ப்பு குறித்த விமர்சனம் இங்கே வெளியிடப்படுகிறது.
பார்ப்பனிய ஆணாதிக்கத்தின் சின்னமான தாலியை அணியக் கூடாது என்று இங்கே ஒரு தொலைக்காட்சியில் கூட விவாதிக்க முடியாது என்ற நிலையை இந்துமதவெறியர்கள் உருவாக்கி வருகிறார்கள். இனி இந்து மத சடங்குகள், புரோகிதர் இல்லாமல் செய்யப்படும் திருமணங்களை சட்டப்படி ஏற்கமுடியாது என்று அரசே கூறுவதற்கும் எல்லா வாய்ப்பும் இருக்கிறது.
அப்போது பார்ப்பனியத்தை மறுப்பவர் கூட தனது திருமணத்தை சட்டப்படி பதிய வேண்டுமென்றால் ‘இந்து முறைப்படி’ திருமணம் செய்ய வேண்டி வரும். பதிவுத் திருமணத்தில் கூட பதிவு அலுவலகத்தின் நிரந்தர ஊழியராக புரோகிதர்களை எடுப்பதோடு, வரும் காதல் ஜோடிகளுக்கு கட்டாயமாக ‘இந்து திருமணம்’ நடத்துவதற்கு மோடி அரசு முனையாது, அம்மா அரசு செய்யாது என்பதற்கு எந்த உத்திரவாதமும் இல்லை.
மதம், சடங்கு தவிர்த்து வாழ்வதும், மணம் செய்வதும் நமது உரிமை என்பதை நிலைநாட்டுவதற்கு இனி போராட்டம் தவிர்த்த வேறு வழி ஏதும் இல்லை.
தற்போது ஆங்கிலத்தில் வெளியிடப்படும் இக்கட்டுரையை அனைத்து வகை நீதிபதிகள் மற்றும் வழக்கறிஞர்களிடம் கொண்டு செல்லுமாறு கோருகிறோம். இதன் தமிழ் வடிவத்தை கூடிய விரைவில் வெளியிடுகிறோம்.
A Sustained effort to nullify “Suyamariyathai and Seerthirutha marriage”.
A Critique on the Division Bench Judgment delivered by Justice. P.N. Prakash in 2014 (6)CTC 129.
A Judgment could pull the society backwards!
Yes, an outdated anti social judgment in modern era!!
A feeble attempt to preserve caste!!!.
Tamil Nadu became the first and only State in India to legalize Hindu marriages conducted without a Brahmin priest. This was the first legislation brought by DMK Government and the then chief minister C.N.Annadurai in 1967. The Central Act was amended by Hindu Marriage Act (Madras Amendment) Act, 1967, introducing Section 7A, permitting Suyamariyathai (self-respect) and Seerthiruttha (reformist) marriages as legal when solemnised in the presence of friends, relatives or any other person by exchanging garlands or rings or tying of a Mangalsutra or by a declaration in language understood by both parties that they accept each other to be their spouse. The law was passed by the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly on November 27, 1967, and was approved by the President on January 17, 1968. This was officially notified in the Gazette on January 20, 1968.
The numbers of inter-caste and inter-religious marriages have increased in the state as a result of the self-respect movement. In this healthy scenario we are provoked to write a critique after reading the verdict reported in S. Balakrishnan Pandiyan-Vs- the Superintendent of Police, Kanchipuram2014 (6) CTC 129. While dealing with the Habeas Corpus writ petitions, the Hon’ble Division Bench considered the issue of registration of marriages under Section 7A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and thus held as follows:
[a] Marriages performed in secrecy in the chambers of Advocates and Bar Association Rooms, will not amount to solemnisation and only women who are victims of such marriage can question the same in matrimonial proceedings before the appropriate Court as a question of fact.
[b] No registration of marriage can be done under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 without the physical presence of the parties to the marriage before the Registrar, except under special circumstances after recording the reasons.
[c] If a complaint is made by a party to the marriage to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry against a Priest-cum-Advocate, the Bar Council shall take appropriate action in accordance with law.
[d] On complaints lodged by the Registering Authorities seeking protection, the police are directed to afford sufficient protection immediately.
Though the directions issued by the Bench appears to be correct on the face of it the discussions and the observations of the Bench would indirectly nullify the very object of amendment made under Section 7A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It is seen from the order by the Bench that the marriage can be held to be valid only in the event of such marriage being conducted by priests (Brahmins) thereby nullifying the amendment made under Section 7 A of Hindu Marriage Act.
ATTACK ON THE ROLE OF ADVOCATES
It is interesting to note that a police officer is appointed as the enquiry officer to enquire and report to the court about the lawyers who involve in conducting marriages and registering them under Section 7A of the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 and report also revealed the names of 48 Advocates who have totally solemnised and registered 1937 marriages in Royapuram Registrar Office between 01.01.2013 and 12.12.2013. Advocate Mr.V.Raghavachari was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the Court and the assistance of Mr.R.C.Paul Kanagaraj, President of the Madras High Court Advocates Association and Mr.K.R.Tamizh Mani, President of the Madras Bar Association were also taken to support the judgment. And Notice was also issued to the Secretary, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, who appointed Mr.S.Y.Masood, Advocate to represent the Bar Council and to the Registrar of Marriages, Royapuram and Registrar of Marriages, Chennai North functioning under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. Such strength of assistance of various forums was cautiously sought because it is going to be against the advocates. Moreover no advocate was appointed to support the Self Respect Marriage in this case and it apparently gives implied partisan signal to Brahmin priest.
In paragraph No. 40 of the judgment it is held as “Coming to the propriety of Advocates going to the Registration Office and presenting the Memorandum of Registration of Marriages, Mr.R.C.Paul Kanagaraj submitted that, there is no bar for the Advocates to present the papers for Registration and he drew parallels by citing the practice of Advocates presenting documents like sale deed etc. for registration before the Registration Officials. We are unable to agree with this submission of the learned counsel for the following reasons.” But the reasons provided there under are not at all convincing. It is reasoned that the presence of a lawyer is essential while presenting the document like the sale deed etc., for registration before the Registration officials, because the lawyer needs to clarify the Registrar’s doubt in law, but there is no scope for the presence of the Lawyer-cum-Priest for effecting registration of a marriage, as there is no question of law or legal question involved in the enquiry about the identity of the parties and the witnesses for the Advocate to be present and give clarification to the Registrar of Marriages. Such reasoning for restricting the role of the advocate is fallacious.
JUDGMENT AGAINST THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT
The scope of the Habeas Corpus Petition is only to test whether the custody was lawful or illegal. But the Court has gone beyond the scope for the sake of dealing into the Suyamariyathai Marriages for the reasons best known to the judges concerned. The Unhappiness over the Suyamariyathai marriages under Section 7A of the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 as indirectly expressed by the Judge/Author of the judgment herein is deeply painful. Though the author of this judgment seems to welcome the Traditional forms of Hindu marriage namely 1. Brahma Form of Marriage, 2. Daiva Form of Marriage, 3. Arsha Form of Marriage, 4. Prajapatva Form of Marriage, 5. Asura Form of Marriage, 6. Gandharva Form of Marriage, 7. Rakshasa From of Marriage, 8. Paishacha form of Marriage, expresses his unhappiness towards the form of Suyamariyathai marriage under Section 7A of the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955. In fact some of the traditional forms of marriages which the Judge welcomes, fall under grave offences as per the Indian Penal Code.
The insistence in the judgment with regard to the place of solemnization of marriage that it should not be within the Bar Association premises and should not be within the law chambers. It was the wisdom of the legislature while enacting the amended legislation of 7A of the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 that the place should be omitted for the simple reason that the marriage is itself is simplified to the extent that the declaration of consent or garlanding of each other or putting a ring upon any finger of the other or tying of Thali in the presence of relatives, friends or other persons would amount to solemnization of marriage. Consciously the law chambers, the Bar Association Premises and the Law Offices of the advocates are threateningly excluded by the author of the Judgment against the provisions of the Act.
Section 7A is silent with regards to the solemnization of Suyamariyathai marriage either publicly or secretly. When section 7A makes it clear that it should be in the presence of relatives, friends or other persons, there is further requirement of insistence on public solemnization of suyamariyathai marriage. The author of the judgment seems to lament over the agony of the parents of the parties to the Suyamariyathai marriages and ultimately and indirectly insists for the knowledge and presence of the parents and their approval for the same. It is better to remember that in a PIL seeking for a direction to the Registrars of Marriages not to register the marriages without the consent of the parents of the parties, the Hon’ble Division Bench has dismissed the same stating that the parties who are major are free to decide upon their life. And it is also necessary to visualize the phenomenon of honour killings in today’s context.
The legal maxim ‘Casus Omissus’ makes it clear that if the statute or legislature has consciously omitted something, the Courts cannot supply what was omitted by the legislature. Here when the legislature has consciously omitted about the place of solemnization of Suyamariyathai marriages and the publicity of such marriages, the Hon’ble Court cannot insist that the marriages should be held only in public that too with all ceremonies.
The Learned Judge while interpreting the word “Solemnize” under section 7A of the amendment act held that solemnization means to celebrate the marriage with proper ceremonies and therefore unless the marriage is celebrated (or) perform with proper ceremonies, it can’t be said to be solmenized. The learned Judge relied on the Judgment of the Supreme Court reported in AIR 1965 SC 1564 in Bhaurao vs. State of Maharashtra. The Learned Judge consciously considered the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court with reference to section 7 which mandates “Sapthapathi” ceremony mandatory for a valid marriage.
The Learned Judge consciously ignored the Suyamariyathai and Sirthirutha forms of marriage contemplated under section 7A of the amended act of 1967, which does not prescribe any ceremonies. The Judgment of the Supreme Court relied on by Justice. P.N.Prakash to hold ceremonies are necessary for the solemnization of marriage was considered by a Learned Single Judge of Madras High Court Justice. S.M. Siddiq in Manjula -Vs- Mani reported in CDJ 1997 MHC 362 and thus distinguished the said Judgment holding that the said Judgment will not apply as the same was rendered with reference to Section 7 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Whereas, the amendment was introduced by the Tamil Nadu Legislature inserting Section 7A for the solemnization of marriages in the form of Suyamariyathai and Sirthirutha forms of marriage and as such held in such forms with out any ceremonies are valid.
The Learned Judge while holding that the Solemnization of marriage means celebration of marriage with ceremonies in para.21 as follows “Therefore, we are of the opinion that a marriage conducted in secrecy with few strangers around, be it Suyammariyathai form, will not amount to solemnisation, as required under section 7 & 7A of the Hindu Marriage Act.
The Said declaration by the court is in effect nullifies the amendment made in the Section 7A of Hindu Marriage act. The very object of the amendment made by Tamil Nadu Government being the outcome of the struggle under taken by social reforms movement led by Thanthai. Periyar, C.N. Annadurai is now defeated by indirectly nullifying the Suyamariyathai and Sirthirutha form of marriage in a collateral proceeding.
THANTHAI PERIYAR ON SELF-RESPECT MARRIAGE SYSTEM
Thanthai Periyar was instrumental to the amendment of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, which included Section 7(A) to declare that the marriage between two Hindus can be solemnised by exchanging garlands, rings or by tying the thaali. He says the substitution of the word for marriage is “Valkai thunai” or “life partner”. One of the major sociological changes introduced through the self-respect movement was the self-respect marriage system, whereby marriages were conducted without being officiated by a Brahmin priest. Periyar had regarded the then conventional marriages were mere financial arrangements and often caused great debt through dowry. Self-Respect movement encouraged inter-caste marriages, replacing arranged marriages by love marriages that are not constrained by caste.
It was argued by the proponents of self-respect marriage that the then conventional marriages were officiated by Brahmins, who has to be paid for and also the marriage ceremony was in Sanskrit which most people did not understand, and hence were rituals and practices based on blind adherence. Thanthai Periyar fought against the orthodox traditions of marriage as suppression of women in Tamil Nadu and throughout the Indian sub-continent. Though arranged marriages were meant to enable a couple to live together throughout life, it was manipulated to enslave women. The wedding expenses leave many families crushed; for many poor families these expenses leave an enormous burden and the debts remain un cleared for a number of years.
ANTI SOCIAL IN THE SOCIAL REFORM MOVEMENT:
Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Ramadoss created a flutter in Tamil Nadu saying “They (Dalit youths) wear jeans, T-shirts and fancy sunglasses to lure girls from other communities”. The mindset of Ramdoss is reflected in the order with the following words, “Young girls, out of infatuation and loss of reasoning guided by the strong will of the boy, who are mostly elder to her in age, become victims of such marriages and ventilator needs to be provided for their escape route.” In this situation we need to recollect the words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and in the recent times Justice. Markentaya Katju insisting that inter-caste marriages should be encouraged to break the caste system. We think his wish is becoming a reality with many inter-caste and inter-religious marriages happening across the state especially in urban areas. The Judge does not say anything about the marriage which happens in the presence of a Brahmin Priest. It creates doubt that whether judge wants to abolish the Caste System or to promote it as a Politician.
The Supreme Court observed in Lata Singh’s verdict that caste system as a divisive factor which promotes families to murder their own children in the name of “honour killings”. The Supreme Court said,”….. is to remind that this still is a democratic nation where a person who has reached the age of majority can marry “whosoever he/ she likes”. “There is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but barbaric and shameful murder”. On the other hand, Mr. Justice. P.N.Prakash has thrown the judgment of Supreme Court in wind and thus impliedly supported the “Brahmin priest” in the guise of using the phrase of “Advocate priest”.
The Judge deliberately avoided getting the view of the Tamil Nadu Government who brought the Section 7A amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 before passing the judgment. Further the Judge failed to appreciate the Advocates who promote the Self Respect Marriages which is a key to abolish the Caste System in this County. The wilful omission is also a felony since the Judge holds the Constitutional Post. The Judge should practically analyse the society which forbid the Inter Caste marriages. Number of parent does not want the Inter Caste marriage, in such circumstances; there is no bar for Advocates to assist the newly married couple in the Marriage Registration work.
“Sutham Sei, Yutham Seithu” short film never promotes the Brahmin priest and therefore the Judge should not have misused the short film title in his judgment. Number of Advocates in Chennai and other mofussil areas involve in Registration work and presents Document for registration and therefore judge P.N.Prakash should not play in their livelihood. The Advocates are decently go on with their profession and Registration work, which is the legalised work. More than 50% Advocates engaged in Corporate Company work in this country. But the Judge did not make any comments on the Advocates who engaged in Corporate Company job. The Judge should not highlight the Registration work as the immoral job for advocates.
Therefore in effect, the Division Bench while dealing with Habeas corpus writ petitions decided the validity of the marriages performed in Suyamariyathai form, legally recognised by section 7A of Tamil Nadu amendment Act, virtually nullifying the marriage performed in such form. Therefore the order passed by the Division Bench in so for as it’s observations on the marriages performed in Suyamariyathai forms needs to be recalled. A duty is cast upon every citizen who have faith in the social reform movement to raise our voice against this force of oppression. The force must be stopped by force.
ADVOCATES- PEOPLE’S RIGHT PROTECTION CENTRE
NO-150-E, LAKE VIEW ROAD,
98653 48163 & 94434 21368