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President approves Hindu Marriage Bill 2017

21 March 2017

Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on 19 March 2017 promulgated the Hindu Marriage bill into a law. The law allows Hindus, a minority in Pakistan, to marry according to their customs and rituals. He further added that this bill will help the Hindu community have constitutional protection for their families and marriages.

The President signed the bill on the advice of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that had earlier been passed by both the Senate and the National Assembly.

PM announced that the government will appoint a registrar for the marriages of Hindus. He said, "They are as patriotic as any other community and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to provide equal protection to them". According to the law, marriages officiated [PTI report] before the passage of the law will be automatically legitimized.

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Terming the recently-passed Hindu Marriage Act by the parliament a remarkable achievement, he hoped that such combined marriage ceremonies would also play pivotal role for projecting the positive image of Pakistan on worldwide level. After getting passed on March 10, the Pakistani President gave his assent on the bill on Sunday.

The law will be applicable in Islamabad Capital Territory and three provinces - Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - as the federal government had obtained resolutions from these provinces.

Marriages solemnised before the law comes into effect will be retroactively validated, but family courts would need to be petitioned for the relevant registration and documentation.

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The law also provides for punishments of imprisonment and fines up to Rs 100,000 or both for contraventions. The offences under this law could be tried in the court of a first class magistrate. The document has columns for particulars of the bridegroom - his name and father's name, date of birth, date and place where the marriage is solemnized and temporary address.

Similar details are required from the bride, except for one change.

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President approves Hindu Marriage Bill 2017