Not even one-tenth of marriages in Delhi registered in last three years
A revenue department report has revealed that 56,918 marriages were registered out of the 62,811 applications that were submitted in the last three years (from October 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022), reported The Times of India. However, experts estimate that there were at least 500,000 ceremonies held at this time.
Comparatively, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018, there were 60,304 weddings registered, while between January 1 and September 30, 2019, there were 19,254 marriages.
In accordance with a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, marriage registration is compulsory under the Delhi (Compulsory Registration of Marriage) Order, 2014.
According to experts, marriage registration was still regarded as a procedure to obtain a certificate necessary for obtaining a visa and adding the names of spouses to passports.
While talking to The Times of India about the reason for fewer registrations, Namita Roy, a Delhi-based lawyer said that marriage under Hindu law is a ritual and its registration is compulsory under Section 8 of Hindu Marriage Act. However, she further explained that in some communities, such as Muslims, who practice personal law, marriages are documented by themselves. She added, “The government has now made it stringent and started imposing a penalty if there is a delay beyond the stipulated time.”
According to the data compiled by the revenue department, the Hindu Marriage Act accounted for the majority of the 56,918 registrations made in the past 35 months (32,943), followed by the Compulsory Marriage Order (19,809), Anand Act (2,436), and the Special Marriage Act (1,730).
Sikh marriages are registered under Anand Act, while brides and grooms of other faiths register their unions under the Special Marriage Act, apart from court marriages. According to sources, the Compulsory Marriage Order requires that the application must be submitted within 60 days of the marriage. These are chosen by couples that need to apply for spouse visas and travel abroad for work.
Couples could apply for marriage registration online on the e-district portal or use the doorstep delivery of services, said officials.
Between October 1, 2019, and August 31, 2022, South West district (9122) saw the most marriages registered, followed by Shahdara (8,157) and North West (6,712). The North East (918) district, New Delhi (3,437) and Central (3,616) districts registered the fewest marriages.
Notably, in the North West, New Delhi, and West districts, there were no applications for or registrations of weddings under the Compulsory Marriage Order.
According to Delhi-based lawyer Vrinda Kapoor, registration of marriage is now required for many activities, such as filing for a passport and visa, changing one’s last name after marriage, and creating a joint bank account, among others.
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