In a landmark development, the bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in Pakistan became a law today after President Mamnoon Hussain gave his approval.
With the President’s approval, Pakistan’s Hindus got an exclusive personal law to regulate marriages.
“On the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has assented to ‘The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017’,” an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The law aims to protect marriages, families, moms and their kids while safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Hindu families.
“It is a consolidated law for solemnisation of marriages by Hindu families living in Pakistan,” the announcement said.
Prime minister Sharif said that his government has always focused on provision of equal rights to minority communities living in Pakistan.
“They are as patriotic as any other community and, hence, it is the duty of the state to give equal protection to them,” he said.
The announcement said the Hindu families will be able to solemnise marriages in accordance with the customary rites, rituals and ceremonies.
As per the law, the government will select marriage registrars in areas convenient for the Hindu population for enrollment of their marriages.
This law additionally provides for procedures relating to restitution of marital rights, legal separation, void and voidable marriages, end of Hindu marriage, financial security of the spouse and kids, alternate relief in end of marriage and end of marriage by common consent.
The law gives the right to a separated individual to marry once more, entitlement of re-marriage for a Hindu widow at her own will and consent after stipulated time, legitimacy of tyke born out of void and voidable Hindu marriage.
According to the law, Hindu marriages solemnized before commencement of this law shall be deemed valid and petitions under this law shall be exhibited before the family courts.
The law likewise provides for punishments of imprisonment and fines up to Rs. 100,000 or both for contraventions.
All offenses under this law could be tried in the court of a first class magistrate.
It is the first law which would be applicable to whole Pakistan aside from Sindh area which has its own law to regulate marriages of Hindus.
The law was unanimously passed on March 10 by the National Assembly which endorsed amendments made by the Senate in February.