A parliamentary panel cleared on Monday the Hindu Marriage Bill paving way for regulations on registration of marriage and divorce for the Hindu community in Pakistan.
Chaired by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice took up the bill, for which resolutions have been passed by the provincial legislatures of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkwa.
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The Ministry of Law and Justice along with Ministry of Human Rights briefed the panel on the bill to codify the law for regulating the marriages and termination thereof among Hindu families in the country. The committee unanimously agreed that the act has been made applicable to the whole of Pakistan.
The panel also recommended following amendments in clauses 2 to 25. With reference to clause 12-c of the bill — that allows a spouse to apply for termination of his/her marriage on the grounds that the other partner has been sentenced to imprisonment for three years — the duration before he/she can apply for termination now, has been increased to four years.
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.
The committee also agreed to delete clause 12(2d) that relates to termination of marriage. The clause states: “That decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife, notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or two”.
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Members from the Hindu community MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Dr Darshan and Lal Chand Malahi were also present during the meeting. Committee members who attended the meeting included MNA Muhammad Moeen Watoo, MNA Kiran Haider, MNA Shagufta Jumani, and MNA Muhammad Khan Sheerani.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2016.