Mumbai: Plea seeks implementation of Anand Marriage Act for Sikhs in Maharashtra

The Act was enacted in 1909 to give legality and sanctity to the marriage ceremony among Sikhs known as Anand Karaj. In 2012, it was amended by incorporating Section 6, which required each state to formulate their own rules.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 11:00 PM IST
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Mumbai: Plea seeks implementation of Anand Marriage Act for Sikhs in Maharashtra | File Photo

A Sikh lawyer couple has approached the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Maharashtra government to frame and notify rules under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909 so that they can register their marriage under it.

The plea states that despite there being a separate legislation for registration of marriages under Anand Marriage Act, 1909, the Sikhs in Maharashtra are forced to register marriage under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

“Is it not a violation of fundamental/legal rights of the petitioners to force them to register their marriage under  Hindu Marriage Act, 1955?” asks the petition by Satvinder Kaur and Amritpalsingh Khalsa.

According to the petition, the couple married on October 24, 2021 by performing Anand Karaj at a gurudwara in Aurangabad. It reads: “The origins of Anand Karaj marriage goes back to the early days of Sikhism. The ceremony is simple and inexpensive. Such marriages are performed by taking four lavans/phere around the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, in the presence of  a Granthi and recitation of the Lavan Gurbani and concluded by Ardass ceremony.”

The Act was enacted in 1909 to give legality and sanctity to the marriage ceremony among Sikhs known as Anand Karaj. In 2012, it was amended by incorporating Section 6, which required each state to formulate their own rules. It has been submitted in the petition that at least 10 states including Delhi, Punjab, Kerala, Assam and Rajasthan have implemented the Act but the Maharashtra government is yet to formulate rules for the same.

“The State of Maharashtra for the past ten years has failed to notify the rules,” adds the plea.

The petition said non-registration of Sikh marriages in Maharashtra under Act is “adversely affecting couples” professing  Sikh religion by infringing their rights to equality, life and to conserve culture and also their freedom to profess and practice religion.

The petition is likely to be mentioned on Wednesday before a bench headed by Justice SV Gangapurwala.

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