The decision to make registration of marriage mandatory has been opposed by the muslim bodies. Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is set for a showdown with the Centre. The general body meeting of the apex Muslim body, to be held soon, is expected to be stormy with the clergy ready to tear into the “insidious designs to infringe the Shariat rules”.
AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said the board had made its reservations on the issue clear three years ago when the proposal was first floated. A committee headed by Maulana Ibrahim Rasool Ilyasi had conducted a survey of all states and presented a report to then law minister Veerappa Moily.
Mr. Jilani claimed, stated that while registration of marriage for certain official dealings was acceptable, holding it up as a prime condition, the violation of which could nullify a marriage, would be deemed a gross violation of Muslim personal law. Jilani is now the additional advocate general of UP.
To make the procedure of registration of marriage easier the government proposes to make the procedure simple and quick by providing them an additional option through changes in the existing law.
The law ministry is giving final touches to its note, which seeks to amend the four decade-old Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1969, by including the registration of marriages in it.
The ministry is set to make its recommendation to the cabinet, with a new option to allow registration of marriage without mentioning the religion, in addition to the existing practice of religion based certificate.
Couples who wish to register under the Hindu Marriage Act will be free to do so, and those marrying outside their religions or against the wishes of their families will continue to have the option of registering under the Special Marriage Act. The ministry is proposing an additional option for “quick and religion neutral” marriage registrations.
The proposal is based on the fact that infrastructure for the registration of births and deaths is already available and only addition of marriage registration to this law is required.
“This step will allow couples to get registered without mentioning their religion on the certificates,” said a ministry official.
“It has been pointed out that around five million Sikh NRIs face problems abroad as their marriage certificates are made under the Hindu marriage law. Many countries recognize Sikhism as a separate religion and this leaves them in an awkward situation,” the official said.
The move also likely to benefit Jains and Buddhists, who are issued certificates under the Hindu law. But the ministry is opposed to accepting demands from individual religions to make changes in the marriage registration law