President Mamnoon Hussain approves Hindu Marriage Law in Pakistan
Hindu Marriage Law in Pakistan
In a landmark decision, the Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain approved the legislation regulating the Hindu Marriage Law of the Hindu communities in the Country. After getting passed on March 10, the Pakistani President gave his assent on the bill on Sunday.
The law provides universal protection for Hindu families for getting their marriages legally registered. In a slew of measures, the law is seen as the fruition of the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan.The legislation has received acclamation across the country.
The law aims to protect marriages, families, mothers and their children while safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Hindu families.
“On the advice of Prime Min ister Nawaz Sharif, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has assented to the ‘The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017’,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said. The statement further added that the law will solemnise the marriages in Pakistan. The statement read,“It is a consolidated law for solemnisation of marriages by Hindu families residing in Pakistan.”
Responding to the development, the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the minorities of Pakistan deserved this law as the citizen. He said, “They are as patriotic as any other community and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to provide equal protection to them.” The statement said the Hindu families will be able to solemnise marriages in accordance with the customary rites, rituals and ceremonies.
The law empowers the government to appoint marriage registrars in areas convenient for the Hindu population for registration of their marriages. The law has also defined procedures relating to restitution of conjugal rights, judicial separation, void and voidable marriages, termination of Hindu marriage, the financial security of the wife and children, alternate relief in termination of marriage and termination of marriage by mutual consent.
The law also empowers minority communities with the rights regarding remarriage of a separated person to marry again, the entitlement of re-marriage for a Hindu widow at her own will and consent after the stipulated time, the legitimacy of the child born out of the void and voidable Hindu marriage.
The law states that Hindu marriages solemnised before the commencement of this law shall be deemed valid and petitions under this law shall be presented before the family courts. However, the law has certain provision for penalties if someone acts in contravention of law. The law states that offenders could be fined Rs. 1,00,000 along with imprisonment for not abiding the law. The offences under this law could be tried in the court of a first class magistrate.
The law will be applicable to all regions of Pakistan except Sindh. Sindh is regulated by its own law regulating marriages in the region.