The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal for inclusion of registration of marriages under a law for compulsory recording of births and deaths. Such a move would also enable registration of religion-neutral marriages. A Bill to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act,1969 will now be introduced in the second half of the Budget session of Parliament.
The Cabinet also approved introduction of a Bill to amend the Anand Marriage Act 1909 to provide for registration of Sikh marriages under the Act. The community has long been demanding a separate law for registration of Sikh marriages instead of being included under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The government said necessary provisions have also been made to avoid duplication of marriage registration both under the proposed central legislation and state laws. The existing administrative infrastructure to register births and deaths will be able to carry out registration of marriages as well.
However,the registration of marriages of the parties under the proposed amendment would not affect any right recognised or acquired by any party to marriage under any law,custom or usage,an official statement said. Both the legislations,the government said,would be beneficial for women in terms of unnecessary harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases. It will also provide evidentiary value in matters of custody of children,right of children born from the wedlock and the age of the persons married, the statement said.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal for inclusion of certain new communities in the list of Scheduled Castes in Kerala,MP,Orissa and Tripura. Other decisions include approval of Indias Second National Communication to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A project to enhance training and education capacity in the Information,Electronics and Communication Technology in the North-eastern region was cleared too.