Shillong, Apr 2: State-based NGO Mait Shaphrang Movement(MSM) has asked the government to introduce the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Bill and Equitable Distribution of Self Acquired and Ancestral Property Bill in the current budget session of the Assembly.
In a letter to Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy, the MSM reiterated its demand of immediate need of introducing the two Bills to safeguard the indigenous people, especially women.
''We had written several times to the state government that enactment of the two laws is an immediate and absolute necessity,'' MSM convener Michael N Syiem said in the letter. In fact, the Supreme Court had directed all states to frame rules for compulsory registration of marriage in order to deal with social problems caused by rising divorce cases.
''Compulsory registration of marriage and possession of marriage certificate will help check exploitation by outsiders who marry indigenous tribal women only to get various benefits,'' Mr Syiem said.
Urging the chief minister not to delay enactment of the Bills, Mr Syiem said the two Bills ''cannot be taken up separately'' because indigenous people of Meghalaya practice a ''peculiar inheritance system''.
Mr Syiem added that the ''Meghalaya succession to Self Acquired Property (Khasi and Jaintia Special provision) Act, 1984 needs to be amended or repealed by the new Bill. The proposed Bill is expected to legislate on Self Acquired Property and Ancestral property, which is important for all children of a family and for the economic development of the state.'' The MSM had launched its campaign for introduction of Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage and the Meghalaya Equitable Distribution of Self Acquired and Ancestral Property in 1986 to protect the indigenous people of the state from exploitation.
Meanwhile, the chief minister reportedly agreed on the need to introduce compulsory registration of marriages to protect the indigenous women and children of the state.