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Govt rules out separate marriage law for Sikhs

August 29, 2011 18:07 IST
The government has ruled out a separate marriage law for the Sikhs and dropped the proposal to amend the Anand Marriage Act of 1909 to provide for registration of the Sikh marriages.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha to the Akali Dal's Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on Monday, Law Minister Salman Khurshid clarified that the registration of all forms of Sikh marriages is not within the scope of the Anand Act meant for the marriage ceremony among Sikhs called anand.

"Further, there may not be any justification for secluding Sikhs from the rest of the categories (covered by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955) as such a step would invite similar demands from other religious denominations. Also, it is against the directive principles contained in Article 44 of the Constitution
which aims at bringing in a uniform civil code," the minister explained.

He pointed out that the Hindu Marriage Act also provides for marriages among Sikhs and certain other religious denominations including Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and other persons who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews and its Section 8 provides for registration of such marriages, including those of the Sikhs.

Khurshid also cited the Supreme Court's 2006 judgment in the case of Smt Seema vs Ashwani Kumar directing all state governments and union territories to make provisions for compulsory registration of marriages of all persons who are citizens of India belonging to various religions. The state governments and UT administrators have already started taking necessary steps in this regard, he added.
A Correspondent in New Delhi