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India Law Minister Will Take Up Anand Marriage Act With PM Manmohan Singh


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
ANAND MARRIAGE ACT ROW: Law Minister Assures Sikh MP That He Will Take Up The Issue With PM Manmohan Singh

NEW DELHI- India’s Law Minister Salman Khursheed assured a group of Sikh MPs that he would discuss the Anand Marriage Act amendment matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon as he returned from Bangladesh trip, and come up with a solution.

The assurance comes close on the heels of Sikh high priests threatening to summon the PM at the Akal Takth for interference in the affairs of the community. The priests had met in Amritsar on September 3 and issued a statement condemning the Centre’s decision to drop the proposal to amend the Anand Karaj Act, 1909, to allow for the registration of Sikh marriages.

The Tribune had reported last week how the government had resolved to drop the proposal citing its potential to attract similar demands from the Buddhists and the Jains who, like the Sikhs, were currently registering their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Only the Muslims, Christians and Parsis had their separate provisions. Later, in an interview to the Tribune, Khursheed talked of the possibility of a more rational solution to the entire problem, proposing a central registry of marriages for all communities.

Today a group of Sikh members cutting across party lines met Khursheed to argue against the minister’s proposal for a uniform registry, saying the same could take a long time whereas the Sikh demand for amendment to the Anand Marriage Act was urgent.

Including former Rajya Sabha member and chairman of the National Minorities Commission Tarlochan Singh, six Sikh MPs Partap Singh Bajwa, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, MS Gill and Ravneet Bittu from the Congress and SS Ahluwalia from the BJP apprised Khursheed of the 2008 proposal whereby the Law Ministry had prepared a draft Bill titled “The Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2008” and promised to convert it into an Act.