State for compulsory registration of marriages: Minister

State for compulsory registration of marriages: Minister

The State government is keen on making registration of marriages compulsory and has referred the Karnataka Marriages (Registration and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976 to the State Law Commission to suggest amendments to the legislation to ensure its effective implementation, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Jayachandra said though the 1976 Act made registration of marriages mandatory, the rule was not being followed.

“We have asked the commission to recommend amendments to the legislation to make it binding on every couple to register their marriage,” Jayachandra said.

The panel, headed by former High Court judge Justice S R Nayak, will also look into the “outdated” provisions of the Act like placing a Rs-5,000 spending cap on each marriage, the minister said. In 2011, a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Shivaraj V Patil, in its report to the Women and Child Development Department, had recommended insertion of a new clause in the Registration of Marriages (Karnataka) Rules 1966, making registration of marriages within 30 days mandatory. Failing to abide by the clause will lead to imprisonment or penalty, the committee had suggested.

The Shivaraj Patil Committee had been appointed by the Karnataka High Court with a mandate to prepare an action plan to prevent child marriages in the State. According to official sources, only a small percentage of marriages is registered in the State. Around 50,000 marriages were registered last year.

Replying to queries, he said all the police stations will be provided with a compilation of State and Central Acts concerning with the safety of women and children, he said.

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