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Uttarakhand High Court directs state government to frame rules for registration of marriage under Anand Marriage Act

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The Uttarakhand High Court on March 23 disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking direction to  the respondent State to notify the Rules under Anand Marriage Act, 1909 and also to issue guidelines to register the marriage of people of Sikh Community under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909.

The PIL filed by one Amanjot Singh Chadha has also prayed that proper Rules be framed for making provisions for registration of marriage of people of Sikh community.

A counter affidavit has been filed by the State in this case wherein it is stated as follows:

“19. That the contents of paragraph no. 15 of the Writ Petition (PIL) so far the same relates to the provisions of Article 19 of the Constitution of India, being matter of record need no further comments. So far rest of the contentions made by the petitioner in the paragraph under reply, are not admitted. It is submitted that in the State of Uttarakhand, under the Uttarakhand Compulsory Registration of Marriage Rules, 2012, formulation of an arrangement / mechanism for registration of Sikh Marriages for the purposes of facilitation of proof of marriage ceremony (commonly known as Anand Karaj) customary among the Sikhs, has been proposed and it took at least three months’ time to pass the concerned Rules from the level of Hon’ble Cabinet.

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It is further submitted that the compulsory registration of all marriages will help in preventing child marriage, check, bigamy or polygamy, help women to exercise their rights of maintenance from husband and custody of children, enable widows to claim inheritance and to serve as deterrent to husband deserting their wives and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Detailed reply in regard to the same has already been given in preceding paragraphs of this counter affidavit, contents whereof are reiterated.

In view of the above, the Bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe directed the Chief Secretary, State of Uttarakhand to take appropriate steps for putting the aforesaid proposal before the Cabinet and after approval of the Cabinet also take steps for publishing the same in the Gazette and place the same before the Legislative Assembly.

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“We consider it appropriate that necessary Rules must be framed by the State of Uttarakhand for registration of marriage of people of Sikh community under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909”

observed the Court while disposing the PIL.

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