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Sikh Marriage Act Ready For Cabinet Nod


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Sikh Marriage Act ready for Cabinet nod

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News

If the assurances given by Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily to a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Wednesday are any indication, the draft of the Sikh Marriage Act is ready for ratification by the Union Cabinet. After clearance by the Cabinet, it will be introduced in Parliament at its next session.

Once passed, the Sikh Marriage Act will meet a long-standing demand of the community that has been fighting for an amendment to the Anand Marriage Act passed by the British in 1909. Under the Act, there will be a special provision for the registration of marriages performed under Sikh religious rights. Interestingly, Pakistan had taken the lead over India by adopting the amended Anand Marriage Act a couple of years ago.

Only yesterday, the Union Law Minister had given indications for amending the Special Marriage Act and not the Hindu Marriage Act. Incidentally, marriages performed under Sikh religious rights are registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act. Now when the Special Marriage Act is being amended, provision for the registration of marriages performed according to the Anand Marriage Act of 1909 will also be incorporated.

Moily briefed the DSGMC delegation on the proposal. The delegation comprised Paramjit Singh Sarna, his brother Harvinder Singh Sarna besides Bhajan Singh Walia, Kartar Singh Kochhar, Gurmeet Singh Shunty and Rajinder Singh Chadha.

It discussed the statutory recognition to be given to the Sikh way of marriage known as Anand Karaj. The Minister said the Ministry of Law had cleared this long-pending demand and recommended it to the cabinet for enactment. This recognises the Sikh way of life by statutory enactment. Moily referred to his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and pertinent reference was made to Sonia Gandhi wherein she had taken note of genuine Sikh demands and decided in principle for the passing of the Sikh Marriage Act.

Talking to The Tribune, Paramjit Singh Sarna said Harbans Singh of Toronto (Canada) had made a strong follow-up with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to pursue the issue with the Indian Government at the last World Sikh Conference held in Delhi.

He said the issue regarding the grant of citizenship to those who had come from Afghanistan was also raised at the meeting with the Law Minister. A memorandum and factual position would be submitted soon.

Earlier a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, had met Sonia Gandhi to put across four major demands of the Sikh community before her. She gave an assurance that three of the demands would be implemented in the near future. So far as the issue of Afghan Sikhs was concerned, an effort would be made to see that they got citizenship in terms of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and the Constitution of India, Sarna said.

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