ANAND KARAJ UNDER THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955: VIOLATION OR SIMPLIFICATION? (Part- 5)

India has diverse religions and cultures; therefore, it becomes necessary that the laws meet the desires of its citizens so that they can have freedom, profess and spread their religion without clashing with people from other religions. This way the envision of the framers of the constitution of a Secular, Democratic and Socialist nation can be attained fully in both spirit and letter.

It is odd for a religious community to have its marriages registered under another community’s laws. But for decades, Sikhs in India have had to do just that – a fact which community leaders perceive as a fundamental injustice. The demand of Sikhs for a separate law regarding the registration of the Sikh marriage is not unheard of. It has been going on for over a century with the members of the Sikh community made to register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. There were no other means for them, although the Anand Marriage Act[1] was introduced by the Britishers in 1909 it was not executed.In 1909, the Act was passed by the British Governor General to establish the legal validity of marriage ceremony among Sikhs called Anand Karaj. As the Act of 1909 didn’t have any provisions of registration of marriage, the Sikhs were to register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act.

This problem had extremely bothered the many members of the Sikh community especially to those who have moved overseas as they were recognized as Sikhs, but their marriages were registered under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 as “Hindu”. But later on, there was an amendment in Anand Marriage Act, 2012 which was passed by President Pratibha Patil giving her sanction to a bill passed by parliament in which Sikh was able to register their marriage under the Anand Marriage Act, 2012.

REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE UNDER THE ANAND MARRIAGE (AMENDMENT) ACT,2012

  • No party to the marriage should have a partner living at the time of marriage;
  • Both the parties to the marriage-

(a)should be able to give free and valid consent, should be mentally fit and not of an unsound mind; or

(b) No party should be suffering from any mental disorder or mental illness thereby affecting their ability to give valid consent for the marriage and procreation of children or

(c) No party should be suffering from persistent bouts of insanity;

(d) The bridegroom should have completed the age  of twenty – one and the bride should have completed the age of eighteen years at the time of marriage;

(e) The parties to the marriage should not be related to each other and should not come under the degrees of prohibited relationship unless otherwise allowed under the rituals or customs which governs each of them which allows for such a marriage between both of them.


[1]Helplinelaw, Sikh Marriages and Registration Procedure in India, http://www.helplinelaw.com/family-law/SIKHMRP/sikh-marriages-and-registration-procedure-in-india.html

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Commercialisation of the Health Care Industry

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