New Delhi, 
Acceding to a long-pending demand of the Sikh community, Indian Parliament today passed an amendment bill by voice vote allowing the Sikhs to register their marriages under the Anand Marriage Act instead of the Hindu Marriage Act.


After the act gets approval of the President of India, the Sikhs will be able to register their marriages under the Anand Marriage Act, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.  

He was replying to the debate on the amendment Bill which was later approved by voice vote. It was earlier passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday that too by a voice vote.


The Anand Marriage law was enacted in 1909 but there was no provision for registration of marriages which were were registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.


Admitting that it had taken a lot of time to pursue amendments in the Anand Marriage Act, the Law Ministerd said, this was a symbolic gesture and "we should respect the sentiments of all communities”.


Sikhs, world over, have been maintaining that members of the community face problems abroad as their certificates are issued under the Hindu Marriage Act. Besides Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are issued certificates under the Hindu laws.

According to the amendment bill, couples whose marriages have been registered under this Act, will not be required to get their marriage registered under the Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths Act, 1969 or any other law for the time being in force.


Supporting the bill, Harsimrat Kaur (SAD) said Sikhs face problems abroad because while they identify themselves as Sikhs, their marriages are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act. She thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for approving the amendments in a recent Cabinet meeting.


Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa said it was necessary to make it clear that the Act was never repealed as claimed by some writers in the recent past. Several other members cutting across party lines supported the Bill.

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