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Registration of marriage should be made compulsory – Law Commission

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On July 4, 2017, Law Commission submitted its 270th report titled “Compulsory Registration of Marriages” to Law Ministry. In this report, Law Commission has recommended compulsory registration of all marriages to deal with social evils such as child marriages, bigamy, marriage frauds, desertions of women by their husband and gender violence.

More details about Law Commission’s Recommendation:

Law Commission has recommended amending the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, to include marriages.

  • It is to be noted that states like Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, and Tamil Nadu have already passed laws for compulsory registration of marriage.
  • The Commission suggested that the time limit to register marriages should be Registration of marriage should be made compulsory - Law Commissionrestricted to 30 days after which a penalty of Rs. 5/- per day could be imposed.
  • Law Commission officials have mentioned that this recommendation will not interfere with the existing personal laws of any community or disturb any existing rights.
  • The law panel has asked the government to come up with a simple process to register marriages. It has recommended that a simple certificate issued by a religious place can become the basis of registration of a marriage. Even the village head or Sarpanch can be given the authority for such registrations.
  • In 2012, during the UPA Government’s tenure, the Rajya Sabha had passed an amendment to make registration of marriage compulsory under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. The Bill, however, could not be passed by the Lok Sabha and lapsed at the end of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

About Law Commission of India:

Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India.

  • Its major function is to work for legal reform.
  • Its membership primarily comprises legal experts.
  • The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
  • In September 2015, Union Government had constituted 21st Law Commission of India for period of 3 years with effect from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2018. Former Supreme Court judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan is the Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India.