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J&K recognises Sikh rituals under Anand Marriage Act

The Sikh community has been finally allowed registration of marriages under the Anand Marriage Act in Jammu and Kashmir. The Act has been extended to the UT. The administration of J&K has framed norms under the Jammu and Kashmir Anand Marriage Registration Rules, 2023, for registration of “Anand marriages”, under which tehsildars concerned shall be the registrar of such marriages within their respective territorial jurisdiction, as per a government notification.

The community members had been seeking the Act for a long time and had also given presentations to many political leaders in the past.

The Sikh community was forced to solemnise its marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act in J&K. Sikh couples can apply for registration within a period of three months after solemnising their marriage but face late fee if formalities are completed after the expiry of the deadline, reads the notification issued by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on November 30.

Vikramjeet Singh, chairman of the National Sikh Front, said the day had come only due to abrogation of Article 370 in J&K. “Members and leaders of the Sikh community had been running from pillar to post for implementation of the Anand Marriage Act. Even as all governments had passed the law, J&K was an exception as the state Assembly used to give a go ahead to laws passed by Parliament for implementation in the erstwhile state.”

He said that after abrogation of Article 370, its implementation became easy. The emergence of the Anand Marriage Act dates back to 1909 when the British Imperial Legislative Council passed legislation for the recognition of the Sikh wedding ceremony Anand Karaj. The Act aimed to acknowledge and respect the customs and practices of the community.

In 2012, Parliament had passed the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill, bringing Sikh traditional marriages under the purview of legal recognition. The Act was not brought in J&K at that time.

Jammu Kashmir Sikh Coordination Committee leader Surinder Singh also welcomed the move of the J&K administration.

BJP’s J&K Minority Morcha president Ranjodh Singh Nalwa said the implementation of the Anand Marriage Act had been a long pending demand of the Sikh community in the UT. “Framing of Jammu and Kashmir Anand Marriage Registration Rules, 2023, has fulfilled the community’s demand,” he added.long pending demand of the community” he said.

Abrogation made it possible, says Sikh Front

  • Vikramjeet Singh, chairman of the National Sikh Front, says the Sikh community has been allowed registration of marriages under the Act only due to abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.
  • He says the community had been running from pillar to post for it. Before abrogation, go-ahead was required from the erstwhile J&K Assembly to implement the laws passed by Parliament.
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