A neuroscientist from Panchkula area of Haryana has alleged that he has been forced to live separately from his Russian wife because of the civic authority's "delaying tactics" in issuing him a marriage certificate.
"Is it a crime for an Indian national to marry a Russian girl?," 31-year-old Mohit Rana asked.
He alleged that he has been running from pillar to post since the past two months to get his marriage registered, but to no avail.
Mohit and Russian national Aygul Rakhimkulova (29), both neuroscientists, married here in January this year after a five-year courtship.
"Mohit could not take his wife to Santiago in Chile, where he is an established neuroscientist. Aygul, had to return to Germany, where she is a PhD scholar at University of Tubingen," Mohit's brother Sumit Rana said.
Sumit said Mohit has been forced to live apart from his wife because of the "delaying" attitude of the municipal department in Panchkula.
However, Panchkula's Deputy Commissioner, Gauri Prashar Joshi denied the charges and said the couple lacked relevant documents.
"They had come to register their marriage, but they did not have relevant documents. They had their papers in foreign language. The girl had the papers in her language which none of us could comprehend. We asked the girl to get the documents authenticated from the (Russian) embassy," he said today.
Sumit, however, said that the couple had all the relevant documents and these were duly checked by clerk Shabana and declared "complete in all respect".
He said when the case was forwarded to Arvind Balyan, dealing officer in Municipal Corporation Panchkula, the latter refused to register the marriage claiming that it was beyond his power.
"We told him about clause 1.4 of Haryana Compulsory Marriage Act 2008, stating that a Registrar could register the marriage if either the bride or groom was a resident in an area under his jurisdiction.
"Even the dealing clerk Shabana verified the same saying that a number of marriages with foreign nationals have been registered under the Act, and the only document required was a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) from the Embassy where the foreign national lived," Sumit said.
"The NOC was submitted to the MC after it was obtained from the consulate general of Russia in Frankfurt, Germany, where Aygul had been living for the past nine years. Where is the language problem as the document is in English?" he asked.
When contacted, Balyan said he did not harass the couple or deliberately delayed issuing certificate to them.
"I do not recall having deliberately delayed giving marriage certificate to anyone. In this particular case too, what I asked for is proper documents, and there is nothing wrong in that," he told PTI over phone.
Sumit, however, contested that Balyan wrote that the documents were of foreign country and they needed to be embossed by Deputy Commissioner's office.
He claimed that despite an "assurance" from the Deputy Commissioner's office, Balyan did not do anything and said that he would write to the Russian embassy to verify domicile status of Rahimkulova.
"When we contacted the Russian embassy they told us that they could verify no such document as passport was a proof of domicile in itself. They said if an officer (Balyan) had any doubt on the authenticity of the passport, he should enquire as to how a visa was granted to Rahimkulova by India," Sumit said.
Sumit added that the family had knocked every door, but nothing has been done in this case.
"We need media's help in this matter, otherwise the couple will be forced to marry again in Chile, where it is easier to get a marriage registered than in our own country," he said.