Separate marriage Act for Sikhs on the anvil

A draft of the Sikh Marriage Act is slated for ratification by the Union Cabinet, according to an assurance given by Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily.

The minister has reportedly assured a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, led by Paramjit Singh Sarna, which called on him that the Law Ministry had approved the draft of the Act which could be introduced in the next session of Parliament after the Cabinet’s approval. Sarna has welcomed the move.

The Sikhs have been since long demanding a separate Act for registration of marriages solemnised under Sikh traditions. At present, Sikh marriages are registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act. If approved, the Special Marriage Act may be amended to incorporate the new provision for registering Sikh marriages under the Sikh Marriage Act.

Sikhs have contended that their marriage rituals are different from that of Hindus. In Hindu marriages, the couple takes seven perambulations around “agni kund,” while in Sikh marriages there are only four perambulations around the Sikh holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. There is no “lagan” or “muhurat” time for performing Sikh marriages as is customary in Hindu weddings.

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