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Rajasthan’s Marriage Registration Amedment Bill

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 13, Oct 2021
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The Rajasthan government has rolled back the Rajasthan Compulsory Registrations of Marriage Amendment Bill, 2021, after it got embroiled in controversy for making it mandatory to register all marriages, including those of minors.

Key Provisions of the Bill:

  • The Bill sought to amend Sections 5 and 8 of the Act, dealing with the appointment of Marriage Registration Officers and the duty of parties to a marriage to submit the memorandum for registration.
  • The amendment authorises the women above 18 years to provide information of their marriage on their own.

Controversial provisions:

The amendment amends Section 8 of the Rajasthan Compulsary Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, which deals with “Duty to submit Memorandum”.

  • The original provision in the law required mandatory registration of marriage within 30 days if the bride and bridegroom were under 21 years of age. The age criterion for both men and women was the same. The registration was to be done by their parents.
  • The amended version said the parents must register the marriage within 30 days of the wedding “if the bride is under 18 and the bridegroom is under 21”.

Why was this amendment made?

The state government argues that this would bring the age in line with central legislation which recognises the age of 18 as majority for a girl and 21 for a boy.

  • Registration of child marriages would help in their faster annulment and help the government reach out to more victims, particularly widows.

Implications of the move:

  1. If passed, it would open the floodgates” for child marriage in the state and give “validation to what is a social evil”.
  2. Compulsory registration of child marriage would legitimise it.
  3. Activists have also said the marriage certificate might in fact, contrary to government claims, become a hurdle in getting an annulment later as courts could cite lack of a marriage certificate as a reason to not grant an annulment.


Rajasthan had banned child marriage by bringing the Child Marriage Prohibition Act in 2006.

  • The law appears to have helped to bring down the instances of child marriage, as indicated in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data of 2015-16.