Notaries/Oath Commissioners not authorised to execute marriage/divorce documents

Notaries/Oath Commissioners not authorised to execute marriage/divorce documents

Mukesh Vs The state of MP

Madhya Pradesh HC

31/12/2020

M.Cr.C. No. 44184 of 2020

About/from the judgment:

Coming down heavily on Notaries/Oath Commissioners who are involving themselves in executing the document in respect of the marriage, divorce, etc, the High Court called for strict guidelines, "to be issued to the Notaries and oath commissioners for not executing such type of deed, failing which their license would be terminated."

The Court observed,

"The job of the Notary is defined under the Notary Act. He is not supposed to perform the marriage by executing documents… Neither the Notary is authorized to perform the marriage nor competent to execute the divorce deed."

The matter before the Court

The Court was hearing regular bail plea filed by the applicant – Mukesh, who was arrested for the offences punishable under Section 420, 467 and 468/34 of the IPC.

As per prosecution story, the complainant – Jitendra submitted a written complaint against the Gayatribai, Nageshwar, and Omprakash alleging that with the common intention, they performed his (Jitendra) marriage with Gayatribai in Jaora Court on 9th September 2020, but after 5-6 days of the marriage, Gayatribai fled away from his house with all her belongings.

During the investigation, the police recovered the stamp papers and arrested, Gayatribai, Nageshwar and Omprakash and recorded their statements u/s. 27 of the Evidence Act.

According to them, they distributed the amount of Rs.1,50,000/- (given by the complainant to them) amongst themselves.

The Counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant has been falsely implicated in the case.

It was stated that the applicant is in custody since 16th September 2020 and he had only introduced Gayatribai to the complainant for marriage and thereafter, he does not know whereabouts of Gayatribai.

Court's Order

The Court observed that "not only the accused persons who conspired in performing the forged marriage of the complainant, but the Notary who executed the marriage agreement is also equally responsible in this case."

The Court further noted,

"Had he properly guided and refused to execute the marriage agreement to the complainant, then the present offence would not have been committed… The Law Department of the State is required to look into these matters as to how the Notaries and Oath Commissioners are involving themselves in executing the document in respect of the marriage, divorce, etc, which are not permissible under the law"

However, without commenting anything on the merits of the case, subject to deposit of Rs.50,000/- (Fifty Thousand) by the applicant in the trial Court, the Court directed that he shall be enlarged on bail and upon his furnishing, a personal bond in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial Court.

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