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    Published On : Wed, Jul 5th, 2017

    Make marriage registration must: Law Commission of India

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    New Delhi:
    The Law Commission of India, in a report, has recommended that the registration of marriages be made compulsory. According to the report, the move will not provide for any new rights but will ensure “better enforcement of the existing rights under various family laws”.

    The Commission advises the government on legal issues.

    The panel even suggested that the marriage certificate be linked to the Aadhaar Card. Circumventing the Supreme Court (SC) order that makes Aadhaar voluntary and not mandatory, the report stated: “If registration of marriage is linked to the Unique Identification number (UID), it would be possible to achieve universal tracking of records.”

    The report stated that in the absence of compulsory registration, many women were duped in the name of marriage and then denied their rights. “Many instances of marriage fraud have come to light recently. In the absence of compulsory registration, women are duped into marrying without the performance of the conditions of a valid marriage,” the report stated.

    Mentioning the international treaties towards protection of women that the country has signed, it submitted that registration of marriages was a “necessary reform”. The panel stressed that this minor amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act-1969 will in no way impugn on the personal laws or the religion of an individual.

    The Commission further stated that before making the recommendation, it took into consideration various orders delivered by courts over time. The panel was referring to the 2006 SC judgment in Seema vs Ashwani Kumar case, wherein it was observed that marriages of all citizens of India should be registered compulsorily in the state where the ceremony was conducted.

    Then in 2012, the then UPA government followed it up with tabling of an amendment Bill in the Parliament. The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill in July, 2013, but it was not taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha. On the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014, the Bill also lapsed.

    The report further submitted that if marriages were not registered within the specified 30 days “without a reasonable cause”, a penalty of Rs 5 a day should be imposed. The Commission urged village panchayats, local civil bodies, and municipalities to create awareness and encourage people to get their marriages registered.

    It was also recommended that the production of the marriage certificate be made mandatory while writing the name of the spouse on any application to get benefits on the behalf of the spouse or while applying for benefits under any government welfare scheme, such as agricultural loan, education loan, etc.

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