Eleven years after SC ruling, UP govt makes registration of marriages compulsory

The cabinet did not concede to demands from a few Muslim clerics who wanted their community exempt from having to furnish photographs of the bride and groom.

The Uttar Pradesh Marriage Registration Rules-2017 stipulates compulsory registration of marital alliances and lays down penalties for any delay in this regard.
The Uttar Pradesh Marriage Registration Rules-2017 stipulates compulsory registration of marital alliances and lays down penalties for any delay in this regard.

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to make registration of marriages compulsory for every resident of the state, regardless of religion or community.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath presided over a cabinet meeting to adopt the Uttar Pradesh Marriage Registration Rules-2017, which stipulates compulsory registration of marital alliances and lays down penalties for any delay in this regard. Though the fines are not particularly hefty – Rs 10 for delay up to a year and Rs 50 beyond that period – it is liable to increase over time.

“We took all sections of society into confidence before taking a decision on the issue,” health minister Siddharth Nath Singh told mediapersons later in the day.

However, Singh admitted that the cabinet did not concede to demands from a few Muslim clerics who wanted their community exempt from having to furnish photographs of the bride and groom. “Yes, they made such a demand because the nikahnama (the Islamic marriage contract) does not carry images. But if photographs can be submitted to procure documents such as Aadhaar cards, I don’t see why the same cannot be done for marriage registration,” he said.

While the stamps and registration department will double as the nodal agency for marriage registration, the government will launch an online portal to ensure easy access.

The Centre had already made marriage registration compulsory across the country, in keeping with a 2006 Supreme Court ruling. Uttar Pradesh was among the only two states that had failed to implement the directive, an anomaly that minister for women welfare and tourism development Rita Bahuguna Joshi had earlier vowed to rectify. “We will implement the Supreme Court’s order in the state. A cabinet note is being prepared, and the same will be sent for the cabinet’s approval,” she had said.


The erstwhile Samajwadi Party government had deferred taking a decision on the matter in view of strong objections from Muslims. Community leaders maintained that as the nikahnama contains all the relevant details pertaining to marriages, the state should treat it as a valid substitute for the registration certificate.
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