ISLAMABAD -  On the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the president has assented to the “The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017”.

The bill after its assent will be enacted as law of the land aiming to protect the marriage, the family, the mother, and child and also to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Hindu families. 

It is a consolidated law for solemnisation of marriages by Hindu families residing in Pakistan.

The prime minister has said that the government has always focused on provision of equal rights to minority communities residing in Pakistan.

“They are as patriotic as any other community and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to provide equal protection to them,” Sharif has stated.

Hindu families will now be able to solemnise marriages in accordance with the customary rites, rituals and ceremonies.

The government will appoint marriage registrars in areas convenient for Hindu population for registration of their marriages.

This law also provides for procedures relating to restitution of conjugal rights, judicial separation, void and voidable marriages, termination of Hindu marriage, financial security of wife and children, alternate relief in termination of marriage and termination of marriage by mutual consent.

Moreover, this law also provides the right of separated person to marry again, entitlement of re-marriage by a Hindu widow at her own will and consent after stipulated time, and legitimacy of child born out of void and voidable Hindu marriage.

As per this law, Hindu marriages solemnised before commencement of this law shall be deemed valid and petitions under this law shall be presented to the family courts.

The law also provides for punishments of imprisonment and fines up to 100,000 rupees or both for contraventions.

All offences under this law shall be non-cognisable and non-compoundable and shall be tried by first class magistrate.