The state cabinet developed cold feet in clearing the proposal for compulsory registration of marriages during its meeting on Saturday. Several Muslim organisations had voiced their concern against the compulsory registration of marriages for all communities.
All India Shia Personal Law Board’s (AISPLB) general secretary, Maulana Yasoob Abbas, rejected any move in this regard, terming it as not practical. “It sounds good only in drawing rooms and during meetings. But it is not practically possible. We will appeal not to even reconsider the proposal,” Abbas told The Indian Express. He also stated that Nikahnama issued by the Ulema during marriage is itself a proper written document with signatures of witnesses and should be treated as registration certificate.
Executive Committee member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Zafaryab Jilani, who is also the additional advocate general, said that the board has two reservations over the move. He opined that firstly, marriages should not be considered null and void if they are not registered and secondly, proper arrangements should be made so that those in far-flung areas do not face problems. “We do not oppose in totality but there are certain reservations. We had also suggested that our Darul Qaza, who solemnise nikahs, can be given status of sub-registrar for registration of Muslim marriages,” Jilani said.
The proposal of registration of marriages by the women and child development department was dropped from the agenda during the cabinet meeting on Saturday. Several ministers claimed that the proposal was dropped with instructions to include it next time with some suggestions.
The proposal was prepared by the department following Supreme Court’s instructions to make registration of marriage compulsory in all states. According to the proposal, a registration fee of Rs 100 will be required for registering within one year of the marriage, while in case of any delay, the registration fee will be Rs 1,000. Those not opting for registration will not be eligible for any government welfare benefits.
Till arrangements were made at the block level, it was proposed to register marriages at the village panchayat level in rural areas and with stamps and registration department in urban areas. The benefits cited for registration of marriages include prevention of child marriage, polygamy, legal document for claim after the death, written consent of both the persons, thus removing room for forced marriages. It was, however, not applicable for existing marriages.