The much-awaited landmark bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in Pakistan has been passed by the Pakistan Senate, Pakistani media reported on Saturday.
A Senate committee approved the landmark draft legislation, nearly four months after it was passed by the National Assembly. The Hindu Marriage Bill 2016 will now become a law as it has now been passed by the Senate, the upper house of the Parliament.
The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights unanimously approved the much-awaited Hindu Marriages Bill, paving the way to its presentation in the Senate.
The Senate committee under the chair of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Senator Nasreen Jalil took up the bill for discussion and later approved it.
Considered as a comprehensive and widely-acceptable family law for Hindus living in Pakistan, the bill enables the Hindu community to get their marriages registered and to appeal in courts of law in cases of separation.
There are penalties for violating the provisions of the bill, which allows Hindus to finally have a proof of marriage document called the shadiparat, similar to the nikahnama for Muslims.
The bill also allows separated Hindu persons to remarry.
Clause 17 of the bill states that a Hindu widow “shall have the right to re-marry of her own will and consent after the death of her husband provided a period of six months has lapsed after the husband’s death”.
There are almost 2 million Hindus living in Pakistan with almost 90 per cent live in Sindh and are, by extension, Sindhis.
(With inputs from PTI)