Law Commission makes marriage registration compulsory
In a landmark judgement, the Law Commission has recommended compulsory registration of marriages within 30 days of wedding to prevent fake marriages. The mandatory marriage registration recommendation was spearheaded by Supreme Court Justice BS Chauhan. The commission stated that marriage registration could be recorded in the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 by making a minor amendment in it.
Marriage Registration Act in India
There are two legislation framed to solve the challenge of marriage registration laws in diverse cultures, that is, the The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and The Special Marriage Act, 1954. However, there is no central act making marriage registration compulsory in India.
BS Chauhan's commission report on marriage registration
The BS Chauhan commission which has pressed the need for compulsory registration of marriages said an amendment in the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 should be made to serve the purpose. It also clarified that there wasn't any need to amend personal laws of religious communities. The commission also stated that linking registration of marriages to Aadhaar would help serve the purpose.
Failure to register marriage within 30 days will attract penalty
The Justice Chauhan headed commission which has recommended the mandatory registration of marriages, has suggested penalizing the people who fail to do so. Defaulters will be fined a sum of Rs. 5 per day for the delay in registering their marriage. Providing false information or refusal to give information, such as name and address would also attract penalty.
Law Commission bats for women protection
The Law Commission while stating its recommendation said that the registration of marriages would aim at preventing child marriage, bigamy and polygamy. It also said that it would help in solving marriage disputes such as divorce or separation, maintenance, period for remarriage among other menaces. The commission also stated that the registration would also be helpful in achieving gender equality and empowering women.
Will this mandatory registration of marriage be helpful?
While numerous reasons have been given by the commission stating the amendment in registering of marriages would help women and bring about gender equality, it will be interesting to see if it makes any impact. The minor penalty if failing to register a marriage doesn't seem a proper yardstick for the strict implementation of this act either.