Pakistan SC wants Hindu marriage bill’s draft approved

Islamabad, Jan 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the Nawaz Sharif government to ensure that the proposed Hindu Marriage Registration Bill’s draft is presented before the cabinet for final approval in two weeks, a media report said.

The directions came Tuesday when Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, sought to draw attention of the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk to the issue.
The court took up for hearing the case relating to the implementation of a set of guidelines, issued in a June 19 judgment on minorities’ rights.
On Tuesday, a National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) representative told the court that it was facing problems in the registration of marriage certificates from Sindh province, where most of the country’s Hindu population resides.
Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt was then asked to ensure that the cabinet approves the bill on the registration of Hindu marriages.
Absence of Hindu marriage registration law has been raised before the apex court more than once.
In 2012, a bench headed by then chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took up a similar issue, raised in a newspaper column, pointing out problems faced by Hindus in Pakistan in obtaining Computerised National Identity Cards and passports.
Due to the Hindu marriage registration law’s absence, Hindu couples face difficulties to get their marriages registered according to Hindu customs.