ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday promulgated Hindu Marriage Bill into law. The Act will protect Hindu marriages and family rights.
The law will be able to solemnize marriages in accordance with the customary rites, rituals and ceremonies of the Hindu families residing in Pakistan.
The law also provides for procedures relating to restitution of conjugal rights, judicial separation, void and voidable marriages, termination of Hindu marriage, financial security of wife and children, alternate relief in termination of marriage, and termination of marriage by mutual consent.
The government will appoint marriage registrars in areas convenient for Hindu population for registration of their marriages.
The law also provides the right of separated person to marry again, entitlement of re-marriage by a Hindu widow at her own will and consent after stipulated time, legitimacy of child born out of void and voidable Hindu marriage.
As per this law, Hindu marriages solemnized before commencement of this Act shall be deemed valid and petitions under this law shall be presented to the Family Courts.
The law also provides for punishments of imprisonment and fines up to Rs100,000 or both for contraventions.
All offences under this Law shall be non-cognizable and non-compoundable and shall be trial-able by Court of Magistrate First Class.
The president signed the bill on advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sharif said that the incumbent government has always focused on provision of equal rights to minority communities residing in Pakistan.
“They are as patriotic as any other community and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to provide equal protection to them,” he said.