The government will amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, to include registration of marriages under the purview of this law. The amendment bill to be introduced in Parliament during this session. This will provide legal protection to couples, especially in cases of inter-religious matrimony.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday also approved amendment to the Anand Marriage Act, 1909, to provide for registration of marriages of Sikhs that has been a long-standing demand of the community.

The proposed Bills will be beneficial to women, protecting them from unnecessary harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases. It will also provide evidentiary value in matters of custody of children, right of children born from wedlock of two persons whose marriage is registered and the age of the parties to the marriage, Union Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, told reporters here.

While marriages of Sikhs along with those of Buddhists and Jains are currently registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, Muslims, Parsis, Christians and Jews have separate Acts for registration.

Necessary provisions have also been made to avoid duplication of registration both under the proposed central legislation and State laws. The registration of marriages under the proposed amendment would, however, not affect any right recognised or acquired by any party to marriage under any law, custom or usage.

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