Cabinet Approves Bill For Registration Of Inter-Religion Marriages

New Delhi, Apr 12: In a measure that will give relief to couples having inter-religion wedlock, the Government today approved a proposal to enable registration of religion-neutral marriages to meet the demands of minorities.The proposal,
cabinet approves bill for registration of inter...
PTI April 12, 2012 23:08 IST
New Delhi, Apr 12: In a measure that will give relief to couples having inter-religion wedlock, the Government today approved a proposal to enable registration of religion-neutral marriages to meet the demands of minorities.

The proposal, approved by the Union Cabinet, has been brought in the form of amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 and a bill in this regard will be introduced in the second half of Budget Session starting on April 24.

The Cabinet also gave approval to another bill under which Sikhs would be able to register marriages under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, meeting a long-standing demand of the community for a separate provision for them instead of being included under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Anand Marriage Act was passed by the British but was annulled after partition. Since then the Sikh marriages are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The proposed bill to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act will save women in case of inter-religion marriages from unnecessary harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases, an official release said.

It will also provide evidentiary value in the matters of custody of children, right of children born from the wedlock and the age of the persons married, it said.

There have been demands by minorities, including Sikhs, for such a provision as weddings are currently registered under Hindu Marriage Act and they are shown as Hindus in official documents.

Besides Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are also issued certificates under this Act.

According to Law Ministry officials, making registration of marriages religion neutral would help couples who face social and community pressures for having married according to their wishes.

The present system of issuing religion-based certificates will continue.
 
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