Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on 19 March 2017 promulgated the Hindu Marriage bill into a law. The Act seeks to protect Hindu marriages and family rights.
The Hindu Marriage Act of Pakistan will regulate marriages of Hindus, who are the minority in Pakistan. In short, this marriage act is the first personal law in Pakistan for Hindu residents of the country.
As per reports, the Bill was signed into an Act by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Highlights of the Hindu Marriage Act of Pakistan
• The Act prohibits marriage of minors.
• It prescribes a minimum age of 18-years for contracting marriage in addition to protecting the customs and customary rites of the Hindu community.
• It also introduces the concept of judicial separation.
• The legitimacy of children born out of the void and voidable Hindu marriages has also been protected under the bill.
• It also allows Hindu women to have a documentary proof of their marriage.
Earlier in February 2017, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016. The bill was passed after amendments which were made by the Senate. The law will be applicable in the provinces of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The bill was tabled before the house by Minister of Human Rights Kamran Michael. While presenting the bill in the house, Michael said, the decision was taken by the ministry of human rights to protect the rights of minorities of Pakistan.
Earlier, Sindh province had introduced its own version of the Hindu marriage law.