Friday, October 26, 2007

Marriage Registration in India

The Supreme Court of India, on 25th October 2007, came out with a landmark judgement that all marriages, irrespective of religion must be registered. The IBN Live report whose text version is on yahoo news, says:

Marriages may be made in heaven but they will have to be registered right
here on earth says the Supreme Court and your religion does not matter.

The court has also asked states to notify the procedure for registration of
marriage as well as appoint an officer to register all marriages in that state.

Lawyer Wasim Qadri says, “There is problem in society that people have
denied their marriages when in litigation.”

This is exactly the problem that can arise if a marriage is not registered. Evidence like photographs, marriage videos, people present at the wedding cannot be airtight proof that the wedding has taken place. If that be the case, every couple married on television had better be declared as husband and wife.

As far as cases related to the 'married couple' moving to a distant place are concerned, there have been/could be instances where the woman (in most of the cases) is harassed, or in worst cases are put through trials and tribulations that Arathi undergoes in the movie Nagarahaavu.

In effect, the registration process just does this - it legally safeguards the union and prevents exploitation. Why do you think property is registered? Why are patents filed - to register an invention isn't it?

But, trust the great-ones to oppose it.

“We think they should not be made compulsory because they are a religious affair
as far as Muslim personal law is concerned and to say that marriages not
registered are null and void is against the very concept of Muslim personal law.
Our appeal to the honorary court to the state and central government the
registration should not be made compulsory.”

If one were to visit the website of this organisation, the introduction section provides an insight behind the raison d'ĂȘtre for such opposition -

All India Muslim Personal Law Board was established at a time when then
Government of India was trying to subvert Shariah law applicable to Indian
Muslims through parallel legislation.Adoption Bill had been tabled in the
Parliament. Mr. H.R.Gokhle, then Union Law Minister had termed this Bill as the
first step towards Uniform Civil Code. Ulema, leaders and various Muslim
organisations successfully convinced the Indian Muslim community that the risk
of losing applicability of Shariah laws was real and concerted move by the
community was needed to defeat the conspiracy.

Their aims and objects (sic) section also rants about the primary aim being the promotion of Muslim personal law.

Fine, as an individual, every Muslim everyone has a right to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution, the right to follow Islamic customs, marry as per the customs prevalent in Islam etc.

But, one must remember that rights are always accompanied by duties. And one such duty is to obey the rule of the land. In addition, the law is not infringing on the rights of the Muslims at all. All that it asks for is to comply with a national ruling for the betterment of society. And may I remind the members of the AIMPLB that Muslims too are part of Indian society?

So, kindly stop such nakra-naatak-baazi and please start promoting the concept of marriage registrations.


Vishnu said...

well said DK
I think here the courts have done nothing that AIMPL has to object about. If marriages are a religious affair for Muslims so are they for Hindus and every other religion. Its about stopping exploitations of females, it has nothing to do with any religion. I don't when can these guys understand not to mix up things.

On a lighter note I cannot hide my smile with that married couple on television concept of yours. How many star husbands might have how many star wifes then and how many times they must have remarried...!! :-)

Deepak Krishnan said...


i guess we must ask some 'serial' serial watcher for the statistic on that

Swaroop said...

DK, until now only people who absolutely needed proof of marriage would visit the sub-registrar...(business families, people flying abroad etc...). I see this judgment as having opened up another business opportunity. One that will streamline sub-registrar applications, and maintain databases that will now start exploding, ways to allow old unregistered couples to "strengthen" their vows by registration etc. :)

Anjuli said...

Registration of marriage is a welcome judgement, not only to contain the exploitation of females but of males as well, there is no gender of the exploited. But definitely there should not be any opposition of the ruling from any community whatsoever.

Deepak Krishnan said...


maybe the next 'in' thing would be gifting registyration certificates as anniversary gifts :-)


right on girl!!