Hindu Marriage Bill 2015 approved in Pakistan

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Who: Hindu Marriage Bill 2015
Where: Pakistan
What: Approved
When: 8 February 2016

A National Assembly committee of Pakistan on 8 February 2016 unanimously passed Hindu Marriage Bill 2015.

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice cleared the final draft of the bill, where five Hindu lawmakers were specially invited.

The committee adopted the bill unanimously after making two amendments to fix the minimum age of the marrying male and female at 18 and making the law applicable to the whole of Pakistan.

The bill will now be tabled in the National Assembly where it has fair chances of being passed as the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party is supporting it.

The panel recommended following amendments in clauses 2 to 25:

As per the Clause 12 sub-section (2)(C), 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.

Clause 12(2d) that relates to termination of marriage will be deleted.

Background

Hindus in Pakistan have been living without documentation of their marital status ever since Independence. Zero documentation of their marital status affects particularly Hindu women as they are deprived of legal rights such as inheritance, adoption of children or remarriage.