It will now be mandatory to have marriages registered with the government.
The Sheila Dikshit cabinet on Monday cleared the final draft of the Delhi Registration of Marriages Bill 2012, which will now be tabled in the Assembly next week.
Once the Assembly approves it (seen as a formality), registering marriages will become a must and the defaulters will have to pay penalty.
“The couples will have to get their marriages registered within 60 days of tying the knot. We will impose a penalty of R10,000 if the couples fail to abide by the law,” a senior Delhi government official said.
The official said the Supreme Court had recently ruled that all marriages should be registered in order to prevent child marriage, to check bigamy and polygamy, and help women exercise their right of maintenance, claim custody of children and enable widows to claim inheritance.
“Every year lakhs of marriages are performed in our country by performing the prescribed religious rituals, in a traditional way and these marriages have no official record leaving women vulnerable to exploitation,” the official said.
According to the Bill, every marriage — be it under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act or any other Act or marriage solemnised as per any traditional manner — will have to be registered.
Every marriage where either the husband or the wife or both are Delhi residents, irrespective of whether the marriage was performed in Delhi or outside, will have to be registered in Delhi. Couples who live outside Delhi but got married in Delhi can also apply for registration in the area where the ceremony was performed.