What began by enacting laws to curb inter-faith marriages may well singe those seeking matrimony within the confines of their own religion. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel, on Monday, said that his government will explore the possibility of making parental consent mandatory if it is constitutionally feasible.
Speaking at an event in Mehsana, organised by the Sardar Patel group of the Patidar community, he said he had been sounded by health minister Rushikesh Patel to consider carrying out a study of girls eloping for marriage and consider making parental consent mandatory in case of ‘love marriages’. He said he is not averse to the idea.
The suggestion quickly received support from Congress legislator Imran Khedawala, who went on record to state that with parents facing neglect in love marriages, the government move to build in safeguards is worth considering.
Ammendments Were Sought To Registration of Marriages Act, 2009
Earlier in March, BJP MLA Fatehsinh Chauhan and Congress legislator Ganiben Thakore had sought an amendment to the Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, to make the signatures of parents mandatory. They wanted the marriages to be registered only in the tehsils of their residence. While Thakore felt that marriages without parental consent need to be discouraged, Chauhan had said that if marriages are registered with consent, the crime rate would substantially come down.
“Innocent girls are misled into marriage by questionable elements and both the girl and her parents suffer untold hardships,” he had opined. Incidentally, Gujarat already has a law that prohibits ‘forcible’ religious conversion.