India

Law Commission makes marriage registration compulsory

05 Jul 2017 | By Roma Das
Registration of marriage mandatory, says Law Commission

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.

In context: Registration of marriage mandatory, says Law Commission

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.

05 Jul 2017Law Commission makes marriage registration compulsory

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BS Chauhan's commission report on marriage registration

ReportBS 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.

Action to be takenFailure 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.

OutcomesLaw 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.

ConclusionWill 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.