NA body unanimously passes Hindu Marriage Bill 2015

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Monday unanimously passed Hindu Marriage Bill 2015 with few amendments.

The committee, which met here with Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk in the chair, was briefed by the officials of ministries of Law and Justice, and Human Rights that the bill was aimed at codifying the law to regulate marriages and termination thereof among Hindus families.

The act would be applicable to all citizens of Pakistan, who were Hindu by religion.

The committee decided to consider the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015, which was presented by the government, instead of the one, which was as a private members bill in 2014.

The committee recommended that sub-clause (2) of clause 1 of the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015 should be extended to the whole Pakistan instead of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the assemblies of the two provinces had already passed resolutions in the Bill’s favour.

It also recommended following amendments in clauses 2 to 25.

-Clause 12 sub-section (2)(C) that a spouse may also apply for  termination of his / her marriage on the grounds that the other partner has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of four years instead of three years.

-Section 2 (d) completely deleted.

– In Section 9 the committee directed to delete the line, `it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent’.

– Section 16 be amended as: When a Hindu marriage has been terminated by a decree of annulment and the time of appeal has expired or an appeal has been preferred but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage so terminated to marry again after expiry of six months or in case of pregnant women, after the delivery of the child, from the final decision.

MNAs Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha, Muhammad Moeen Wattoo, Kiran Haider, Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Sherazi, Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar, Asiya Naz Tanoli, Shagufta Jumani, Eng. Ali Muhammad Khan Advocate, Moulana Muhammad Khan Sherani and Aisha attended the meeting.

MNAs belonging to the Hindu community, including Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Dr. Darshan and Lal Chand Malhi, attended the meeting on the special invitation to assist the committee in the passage of the Bill.