Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 13 April 2012. In a country of diverse religions, the government decided Thursday to enact a law enabling registration of marriages regardless of the couple’s religion. This law, which needs Parliament’s approval before it can come into force, will give legal protection to couples planning inter-religion marriages.
In yet another significant step, this time for Sikhs, the government cleared the introduction of a bill in Parliament to amend the Anand Marriage Act 1909. This will enable registration of Sikh marriages under a law of their own. Till now, Sikh marriages were registered under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The government will amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969 to bring marriage registrations under its purview.
A bill to this effect is likely to be introduced in the Budget Session’s second half beginning April 24.
These two proposals were approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday. Government sources said these laws will benefit women and protect them from harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases.
Sikhs have been demanding a separate law under which they could register their marriages as is the case with Muslims, Parsis and Christians.
The government said there would be a provision to avoid duplication of marriage registrations under the proposed Central legislation and state laws.