To protect couples, Delhi govt will amend marriage rules


NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of reports of honour killings and khap panchayats taking on couples who marry within the same gotra, the Delhi government is gearing up to amend the marriage registration rules in the capital. It seeks to abolish a rule under which marriage registration can be done in Delhi only if the couple can produce proof that either one of them or parents of at least one of them have been residents of area falling under the jurisdiction of the registrar for more than 30 days.  The proposal seeking an amendment in the Delhi Hindu Marriage Registration Rules 1956 is likely to be tabled before the cabinet on Monday. If the amendment comes through, couples from other states who tie the knot in the capital will be able to get their marriage registered here itself. There has been a rise in the number of cases in which families turn hostile to such newlyweds and several incidents of honour killings have also come to light in the recent past. Haryana‘s khap panchayats have been in news for the alleged atrocities inflicted on couples who dared to marry within their gotra or outside their caste against their families’ wishes.

In its present form, Delhi Hindu Marriage Registration Rules makes it mandatory to have a residence proof of Delhi to register a marriage. It states that one of the parties or his/her parents should have been residing within the jurisdiction of the registrar for more than 30 days for the marriage to be registered in the city. The revenue department of the state government has sought these conditions to be abolished so that couples who marry in the capital are able to register their marriage here even if they or their parents are not Delhi residents. The only precondition being that the marriage should have taken place in the city.

Delhi high court had earlier reportedly struck down as “unconstitutional” the rule that registration of marriages could be effected in Delhi only if at least one of the parties or parents of either of them has been a resident of the capital. The court order came in a case where a couple was denied registration due to this clause.

Meanwhile, activists from NGOs such as Shakti Vahini, who have been studying the role of khap panchayats and the reasons behind honour killings, agree that the amendment will make it easier for couples facing resistance from families to register their marriages in the city. However, they are quick to point that this would be a small step and it alone cannot deal with the complexities that are leading to honour killings or atrocities by khaps. Similarly, Anju Dubey Pandey from Centre for Social Research said such an amendment would certainly make life easier for couples seeking registration in the city. “But since matrimonial issues are complex, those concerned should carefully study the clauses and other issues involved before taking a decision,” Pandey added.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s