President approves Hindu Marriage Bill

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Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

After decades of delay and inaction, the Hindu living Pakistan has now have a marriage law as President of Pakistan Mamnoon assented to the ‘Hindu Marriage Bill 2017’ on the advice of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif,
The Bill after its assent will be enacted as Law of the Land aiming to protect the marriage, the family, the mother, and child and also to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Hindu families. It is a consolidated Law for solemnization of marriages by Hindu families residing in Pakistan.
Moments after the President of Pakistan Mamnoon assented to the ‘ Hindu Marriage Bill 2017’, A wave of joy and jubilation has been felt among the Hindu community living across Pakistan.
Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani expressed his joy and spoke highly of Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif for meeting long lasting demand of Hindu community by giving them ‘ Hindu Marriage bill 2017’. He termed the move a new year’s gift for Hindus living in Pakistan.
“ Today, I am a proud Pakistani Hindu,” he said.
In a public statement issued on Sunday Prime Minister said that his Government has always focused on provision of equal rights to minority communities residing in Pakistan.
“ They are as patriotic as any other community and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the State to provide equal protection to them”, stated the Prime Minister.
Now, the Hindu families will be able to solemnize marriages in accordance with the customary rites, rituals and ceremonies.
A press note issued from office of Prime Minister House stated on Sunday that the Government will appoint marriage Registrars in areas convenient for Hindu population for registration of their marriages. This Law also provides for procedures relating to restitution of conjugal rights, judicial separation, void & voidable marriages, termination of Hindu marriage, financial security of wife and children, alternate relief in termination of marriage and termination of marriage by mutual consent.
Moreover, this law also provides the right of separated person to marry again, entitlement of re-marriage by a Hindu Widow at her own will and consent after stipulated time, legitimacy of child born out of void and voidable Hindu marriage. As per this Law, Hindu marriages solemnized before commencement of this Law shall be deemed valid and petitions under this Law shall be presented to the Family Courts. The Law also provides for punishments of imprisonment and fines up to One Hundred Thousand Rupees or both for contraventions. All offences under this Law shall be non-cognizable and non-compoundable and shall be triable by Court of Magistrate First Class.