Greenlight to a law for making registration of marriages compulsory

In News

  • The Law Commission of India has recommended compulsory registration of marriages to protect gullible women who become victims of fake marriages.

Preface

There is no such law to provide for compulsory registration of marriages in the country except four States — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, which have enacted laws for compulsory registrations of marriages. The proposal for uniform central law for the country has been pending for the last 15 years and it has been seen that many times unscrupulous husbands altogether deny marriage leaving their wives in the lurch be it for seeking maintenance, custody of children or inheritance of property.

Minor amendment to serve the concern

A minor amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, including a provision for compulsory registration of marriage, would serve the purpose.

Justice B S Chauhan 270th report

  • Marriage registration compulsory within 30 days of the wedding ceremony with no exemption to any religious community including Muslims.
  • Punishing the defaulters with a fine of Rs 5 per day for unreasonable delay. There will be other penalties for providing false information and for refusal to furnish certain information, such as name and address.
  • Registrar responsible for the registration of births and deaths will also be responsible for marriage registrations.
  • The Justice Chauhan-headed commission said the amendment must create a central portal for compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths.
  • Linking registration of marriages to Aadhaar number “would make it possible to achieve universal tracing of records.

Benefits of compulsory marriage registration 

  • It would help curb instances of bigamy and regulate polygamy.
  • This will help ensure social and legal protection to women who are socially vulnerable.
  • Compulsory registration of marriages in the country will help in dealing with many serious social and legal problems in the country.
  • It will be helpful in preventing child marriage and would ensure that the minimum age of marriage is complied with
  • Law will prevent non-consensual marriages in the country, will check illegal marriage or polygamy and among other things would enable married women to claim their right to live in the matrimonial home, claim maintenance etc.

Law Commission of India

  • It is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. Its major function is to work for legal reform. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mande by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice
  • The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833. After that, three more Commissions were established in pre-independent India. The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term.
  • Since then, twenty more Commissions have been established. The 20th Law Commission was established in 2013 under the Chairmanship of Supreme Court Judge, D.K Jain. Its tenure was fixed till 2015. The present Law Commission was established in 2015, and has tenure to 2018.
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