On Thursday, the National Assembly of Pakistan has passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016. Senate had made some amendments in the original proposed marriage bill which aims to regulate Hindu marriages in Pakistan.
The bill will become a law, once President Mamnoon Hussain signs it. Minister of Human Rights Kamran Michael had tabled the bill in the National Assembly.
Regarding the bill, the concerned minister has said that Human Rights took the initiative to protect the rights of minorities in the country after obtaining a no objection certificate from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The senator added that protection of legitimate interests and rights of minorities is the constitutional obligation of state and its institutions.
The bill was given a final shape after various consultations with concerned ministries and representatives of the Hindu community.
The passed bill ban marriage of minors and fixes a minimum 18 years of age for contracting marriages. The bill will also safeguard the customs and customary rites of the Hindu community.
The bill also provides a standard mechanism for registering Hindu marriages, including conditions for dissolving and contracting marriages.
The Hindu Marriage Bill 2016 also introduces the concept of separation through judiciary. Furthermore, bill also protects the legitimacy of children born out of void or voidable Hindu marriages.
After passage of the bill, Hindu women can also get a documented proof of their marriages.
The Ministry of Human Rights has worked on this bill for three years. The ministry has also obtained resolutions from all the provincial legislatures to make sure the law is applied across the country.
The bill will be applicable in the provinces of Punjab. Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtun Khwa. Earlier, Sindh assembly has passed its own version of the Hindu Marriage Law.
The Senate has given its assent to the bill in February 2017.
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