Madhya Pradesh: Marriages that took place secretly during COVID-19 lockdown in May to be declared ‘null and void’

If you got married in Madhya Pradesh in May 2021, during the state’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, then you may not be issued a marriage certificate. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state plans to punish those who broke the coronavirus curbs and went ahead and got married. 

The Madhya Pradesh government had imposed curbs in the state which also included a ban on weddings in the month of May, as COVID cases surged in the state. 

Reports state that even after the government imposed the ban, there have been at least 130 marriage ceremonies that were conducted ‘secretly’ while violating the norms set by the government.

Given this, the marriage registrar’s office has been ordered by the District Magistrates that they should not issue any certificates for the couples who tied the knot during the period when weddings were banned, or face action. 

The DMs’ order also said that the couples will be booked under section 188 for ‘disobedience to orders duly promulgated by a public servant under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)’.

A few district collectors also issued a separate order to declare such marriages illegal and asked the registrar’s office not to issue any certificates for marriages that took place in May. Failing this, the order said, even officials may be booked under section 188 for disobedience to orders duly promulgated by a public servant under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh reported 1,977 new cases on Thursday, taking the total case tally to 7,73,855. While 70 more deaths pushed the fatality count to 7,828, the state health department said.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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