An unprecedented development has taken shape in respect of the Hindu marriage law and that too in Pakistan. In a landmark move Pakistan’s Sindh Assembly has recently passed the Hindu Marriage Bill thereby becoming the first province in the country to allow the minority community viz. Hindus to register their marriages.
A few salient features of the Bill are –
• A marriage will be void if either of the parties are less than 18 years of age at the time of marriage.
• As opposed to the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 as prevalent in India the grounds for divorce have been restricted to only five, namely – conversion to other religion, desertion, cruelty, insanity and sufferance from virulent and incurable disease.
As per the 1998 population census of Pakistan the Hindu population in the country is by far the most in the province of Sindh.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nisar Khuhro commented -“Since the creation of Pakistan, it is the first time that such a law is being passed. The decision has been taken to provide mechanism for formally registering Hindu marriages in Sindh,”