On 17th September 2021, the Rajasthan State Assembly passed a bill to bring changes to the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. As per this act, it is mandatory for everyone to register their marriages, including child marriages.
The bill amends Section 8 of the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, which states that the parties are responsible for submitting a Memorandum for registration of marriage to the Registrar under whose jurisdiction the marriage was performed and solemnized.
The amended bill makes the following parties responsible for submitting the memorandum for the marriage to the registrar: the parties who have decided to marry each other, in the scenario that the bridegroom is 21 years old and the bride is 18 years old.
However, in the case that the groom is not 21 years old and the bride is not 18 years old which are the legally acceptable ages of marriage then the parents or the guardians of the parties, I.e., the bridegroom and the bride are supposed to submit the memorandum of marriage to the Registrar.
The bill elaborates on the duty of the parties to submit the memorandum and also talks about whose duty it would be to submit it in the case that the parties have not reached the legal age of marriage.
ESSENCE OF THE AMENDMENT
The amendment reiterates the same point as mentioned in the act of 2009 about section 8, the only difference which is visible is that the ages of the bride and bridegroom make it their responsibility to submit the memorandum.
The bill also adds sub-section (1-A) before sub-section 2 under section 8 of the act which states that:
“If, at any time, death of either of the parties to the marriage or of both occurs, the surviving party, parents, adult child or, as the case may be, guardian of the parties may submit the memorandum, in such manner, as may be prescribed, to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction the marriage is solemnized, or the surviving party, parents, adult child or, as the case may be, guardian of the parties is residing for at least thirty days before the date of submission of the memorandum."
This means that through this provision anybody related to the parties, the widow, widower, or their children or any of their kin are given the permission to register the marriage within thirty days of death.
Presently, child marriage is prohibited under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,2006.
AMENDMENT IN THE REGISTRATION OFFICES
As per Sections 2,5 and 15 of the original act, Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, the registration officers were only present at the District level, however by bringing the amendment to the following sections, the registration officers would be present at the block level.
ESSENCE OF THE AMENDMENT
This is an amendment to Section 5 of the Act of the original act whereby, the Government would be able to appoint the Additional Marriage Registration Officer and Block Marriage Registration Officer in order to ensure that the marriages are registered properly and at all levels.