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Report No. 211

B. Hindu Marriage Registration Rules

The States of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were the first to make Rules under Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act, both in 1956. The latter State replaced its Rules by new Rules made in 1984. Gradually almost all States made the required Rules, but provisions of the various State Rules have not been uniform.

The Assam Hindu Marriage Rules 1961, for instance, provided that "notwithstanding anything contained in the Act and these Rules, registration of Hindu marriages in Assam, excepting those areas where the Registration Act 1908 does not apply, shall be optional" (Rule 19).

The Kerala Hindu Marriage Registration Rule 1957 classified various regions in the State into "Compulsory Registration Areas" (where the Government can make registration of all marriages compulsory) and "other areas" (where registration is optional).

Registration of marriages was kept optional under the Rules made by most of the other States including the West Bengal Hindu Marriage Registration Rules 1958, Andhra Pradesh Hindu Marriage Registration Rules 1965, Karnataka Registration of Hindu Marriages Rules 1966, and Uttar Pradesh Hindu Marriage Registration Rules 1973. In later years some States but not all provided rules for compulsory registration, or selectively compulsory, governed by the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. It was only after the Supreme Court directive of 2006 that the remaining State Governments began initiating action in this regard.

The Rules made under the Hindu Marriage Act generally mention the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages appointed and working under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1886 as the supervisory and appellate authority in respect of Marriage Officers in the State. Some of these laws require Marriage Officers to transmit their records to the Registrar-General at prescribed intervals.

Laws on Registration of Marriage and Divorce - A Proposal for consolidation and reform Back

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