Kerala Minister for Public Works G Sudhakaran on Thursday suspended four officials of the registration department for asking a man who had been married for 16 years to re-marry when he sought a valid marriage certificate last week.P Madhusoodanan, a native of Mukkam in Kozhikode (north Kerala), had approached the sub-registrar’s office in Mukkam to get a marriage certificate. He was married 16 years ago under the Special Marriages Act. Usually such a certificate is made available on the same day after giving an application but, he was asked to make several rounds of the office.
When Madhusoodanan protested, the officials made fun of him and asked him to marry again to get a certificate immediately. He told one of his friends about his plight. His friend advised him to post his experience on Facebook. When his post went viral triggering outrage, the officials tried to wriggle out of the situation saying it was “just a joke” but it was too late by then.
“He had married under the Special Marriages Act on Feb 27, 2003. He needed an attested copy of the marriage certificate. However, the officials were not willing to check old files. They made fun of him and forced him to make several trips to the office,” the minister said adding the behaviour of the officials’ was unacceptable and uncalled for.
He said the certificate should have been issued on the same day but officials asked him to wait for three days and he had to suffer humiliation also. “When his post on social media came to my notice, I asked my officials to check this and found his grievances were genuine. I immediately took action against the erring officials,” he said adding such officials were not competent to work in government service. “We cannot tolerate such behavior. I have also asked officials to check whether any other complaints are pending against these officials,” he said.
The incident comes in the backdrop of a suicide by an NRI businessman, which caused a lot of embarrassment to the Left Front government. Businessman Sajan Parayil (48), a resident of Bakkalam in Kannur district, had ended his life last month after the municipal administration in Anthoor allegedly refused to grant a licence to his auditorium which he built with his entire savings of Rs 15 crore. His widow and other relatives alleged that he was pushed to suicide after the municipal authorities threatened to demolish his fully-built complex citing minor issues.
Source: Hindustan Times