The Delhi government’s rule for mandatory registration of marriages is applicable to all religions, including Muslims and Christians.
“Everyone in the city, irrespective of their religion, has to get their marriage registered. Marriage registration has been made mandatory in compliance of the Supreme Court’s order,” said Dharam Pal, revenue secretary, Delhi government.
The previous Congress government had tried and failed to pass a bill in this regard in the face of opposition from Muslim MLAs who had raised questions about the implications of the rule on the community.
But with President’s Rule in force in the Capital, the notification for compulsory marriage registration was issued without any major opposition.
Shoaib Iqbal, an MLA from Matia Mahal constituency - who had opposed the bill earlier - has now decided to meet the L-G over the issue though.
“It is a sensitive issue and administration should not have taken such a decision. They should have implemented it through a proper channel so that everyone had a say on it. Currently, there is no government in Delhi and the order should be put on hold till an elected government comes to power,” said Iqbal.
Iqbal said if Muslims start registering their marriages, it will give legal rights to women in case of a divorce or second marriages.
“Among Muslims, the procedure of divorce is easy. But it will now become difficult under this rule. There are several communities and they all follow different rules for marriage. The government should not force them to follow one rule,” said Iqbal.
He said the government should form a committee comprising members from every community and seek suggestions from them.
Government officials said registration of marriages has been made mandatory irrespective of a couple’s caste, creed and religion.Those failing to register their marriage within 60 days are liable to be fined up to Rs. 1,000. Also, those who furnish false statements can be fined as well as imprisoned.
“Marriages that have taken place before will have to be registered. But they will be given sufficient time to get it done and will not be fined. It will also ensure justice to women deserted by their husbands,” said a official.