Pakistan’s Punjab Sikh Act to be amended; community members below 18 can't get married: Minister Ramesh Arora : The Tribune India

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Pakistan’s Punjab Sikh Act to be amended; community members below 18 can't get married: Minister Ramesh Arora

Says the new amendments in Pakistan's Sikh Act are going to be in favour of the minority community

Pakistan’s Punjab Sikh Act to be amended; community members below 18 can't get married: Minister Ramesh Arora

Ramesh Singh Arora. Photo credit: www.pap.gov.pk



PTI

Lahore, March 21

Ramesh Singh Arora, the first Sikh minister in Pakistan's Punjab province, has said that the provincial Sikh Act would undergo a few amendments under which Sikhs would be ineligible to marry if they are below 18.

Speaking on Wednesday while presiding over a meeting of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) of which he is the president, Arora said the new amendments in Pakistan's Sikh Act are going to be in favour of the minority community.

"Certain amendments including Sikhs below 18 ineligible to marry will be made in the Sikh Anand Karaj Marriage Act, 2018, and it will duly be approved by the cabinet soon," Arora, the provincial cabinet minister for minority affairs under the chief ministership of Maryam Nawaz, said.

Several amendments were recommended in the Sikh Act during the meeting.

"As per the amended law, the marriage will take place according to the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. The couple will fill out the Anand Karaj form and submit it to the authorised registrar within 30 days of the marriage. The offices of Anand Karaj Registrar or Union Council will keep a record of all marriages," Arora, a member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, said.

During the meeting, various proposals regarding reconciliation council, marriage registrar and appointment of registrar were discussed.

"The age of Sikh boys and girls entering into the institution of marriage should be 18," according to the outcome of the meeting during which it was also agreed that the five-member Sangat will present its proposals on any issue/conflict between the bride and the groom.

It was also decided that the couple seeking divorce would be bound to send a written notice to the union council chairman who will constitute a conciliation committee within 30 days of receiving the notice. If the couple fails to reconcile after 90 days, a certificate will be issued.

Arora, 49, said that Punjab is set to become the first province to implement the Sikh Marriage Act. He said that the Sikh Marriage Act was passed by the Punjab Assembly in March 2018 but its implementation was postponed due to "political reasons".

Arora said the Sikhs in Pakistan were facing many legal problems due to the non-registration of their marriages.

"Such issues include distribution of inherited assets," he said and added after the implementation of the Act, Sikh couples will be able to legally register their marriages.

"Along with registration, filing for divorce will also be allowed. If a Sikh couple decides to separate, currently there is no legal procedure available. We are also going to register different gurdwaras to conduct marriages of Sikh couples in Punjab," he said. 

#Lahore #Pakistan #Sikhs


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