Sindh, Feb 16: In a groundbreaking verdict in Hindu marriage law in Pakistan, the Sindh Assembly passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2015, becoming the first provincial legislature in Pakistan to formalise the recognition of Hindu, Sikh and Jain minorities.
This fulfill the long-awaited demands of the Hindus to register their marriages, said Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) general secretary Deepak Kumar Bhagchandani.
The bill was passed after a long debate by the Sindh law minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro. He said,"Since the creation of Pakistan, it is the first time that such a law is being passed. The decision has been taken to provide a mechanism for formally registering Hindu marriages in Sindh."
Justifying the passing of the bill, Hindu leaders said that the bill also allows a woman to get a divorce and get protection. "There is no room and concept of divorce in Hinduism but this law legitimises and preserves the rights of women if and when it happens," said a community member Pooja Rajput. She further added,"It ensures the conservation of women's matrimonial rights, such as pension for widows, share in husband's property and the minimum marriage age of 18 years. This requirement will play its part in the much-needed renunciation of the Hindu community's old customs and tradition of child marriages."
This would also help couples in getting jobs in foreign countries, which had been impossible till now as immigration was not possible in the absence of a legal marriage certificate. However, there are conditions that one has to adhere to.
The bride and groom have to be older than 18 years, both the families should be giving their consent to the marriage, and the marriage should be solemnised in the presence of two witnesses.
Also, couples who fail to register their marriages will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000.