Private International Law of Philippines which insists on legal capacity to contract marriage has to be determined in accordance with national law

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of A. Muhamed Mustaque, J. decided a writ petition, wherein the Revenue Authorities were directed to issue ‘Single Status Certificate’ to the petitioner subject to necessary inquiries.

The petitioner was an Indian national working in Bahrain. He wanted to marry a Filipina in accordance with the marriage law applicable in Philippines which required that a certificate of Capacity to Contract Marriage was to be obtained by the petitioner. The petitioner approached the Revenue Authorities for obtaining Single Status Certificate, which was declined on the grounds that he was not residing within the area of jurisdiction of the Authorities for the past 12 years. Aggrieved by the same, the instant petition was filed.

It was not disputed that petitioner’s permanent address was within the jurisdiction of Revenue Authorities. The High Court categorically observed that the law applicable to marriage is distinct from the law applicable to capacity to marry. In Private International Law, the capacity to contract marriage is to be determined in accordance with the law applicable to the country in which such marriage is to be solemnized. If that country’s Private International Law insists that the national law will have to be followed to determine the capacity of marriage, there may not be a difficulty. In India, there is no codified Private International Law. Comity of Nations insists that each country should respect the laws of the other country. In light of the above, the Court held that Private International Law of Philippines insists that the legal capacity to contract marriage has to be determined in accordance with the national law of the parties. That being the legal position, the Revenue Authorities were directed to issue Single Status Certificate to the petitioner subject to necessary inquiry. [Anand Ramakri v. Revenue Divisional Officer, WP (C) No. 9779 of 2018, dated 13-04-2018]

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