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Indian capital plans marriage law to protect 'deserted' wives - report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 2 Aug 2011 11:22 GMT
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NEW DELHI (TrustLaw) - Authorities in the Indian capital are planning to make the registration of all marriages mandatory in an effort to provide better justice to women abandoned by their husbands who are seeking legal recourse, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, the Delhi government is discussing the Delhi Marriage Registration Bill - a draft law which proposes that all marriages in the city of 16 million people are registered with the authorities.

"We are bringing the bill as per the directions of the Supreme Court, which had asked state governments and the centre to bring in a legislation to make registration of marriages compulsory," Delhi's Health Minister A.K. Walia was quoted as saying in the report.

"The aim of the proposed legislation is to ensure justice to women deserted by their husbands. These women find it difficult to get maintenance and rights over property and even children."

Gender rights activists say many marriages in India are not official registered, leaving women who have been abandoned by their husbands in a precarious situation with little legal recourse for demanding rights over land, property, children or financial support.

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