Sunday, December 12, 2010

A number of marriages going unregistered in Puducherry

A number of marriages going unregistered in Puducherry

Sruthisagar Yamunan

Host of benefits associated with registration


Couples can register within five years of marriage

Documents such as birth certificate, ration cards needed as proof, along with photographs


PUDUCHERRY: Though the Supreme Court directive making registration of marriage compulsory has been in force for a long time, a number of marriages, especially among the poorer sections, go unregistered in Puducherry.

This non-compliance with the law is largely attributed to lack of awareness about benefits of registration and a perception that the process is tedious and expensive.

But experts say that the procedure of registration is simple. According to former District Registrar K. Durga Prasad, couples who tie the knot can get their marriage registered at the offices of Sub-Registrar or the District Registrar right after the ceremony or within five years of the marriage.

The couple has to be accompanied by the parents and a few other witnesses. Documents such as birth certificate and ration cards have to be provided as proof along with photographs. If the marriage took place in a place of worship such as a temple or a church, a certificate obtained from the priest or the official concerned has to be produced. The whole process takes about an hour.

However, for registration of marriage that is between five and 15 years, an approval of the District Registrar is necessary, whereas for marriages over 15 years, a sanction from the District Collector is mandatory.

According to Chairperson of Puducherry Women's Commission S. Kamalini, who is also a lawyer by profession, marriage certificate is especially important for a woman as it provides a social status and legal protection. Most of the government schemes for Below Poverty Line families, such as the one for widows, require this certificate.

Ms. Kamalini says that it also provides valid evidence in case of a dispute over inheritance of husband's properties. "The certificate will establish the woman as the legal heir of the person and can help avoid a lot of legal issues," she says. In case of the death of a government servant, marriage certificate will be insisted by the authorities in case the wife is offered the job on a compassionate ground. Marriage certificate is also compulsory during visa applications in case the wife wants to visit or join her husband who is living abroad.

The Women's Commission, through its door-to-door campaign, has registered over 10,500 marriages in rural areas. Any couple, who are residents of Puducherry, can approach the commission.

"Only when you delay, the process becomes tedious. Do not wait for a situation to crop up to get the certificate. This will avoid a lot of hassle and would save time," says Ms. Kamalini.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu

Courtesy_

http://www.thehindu.com/2010/12/12/stories/2010121251810300.htm


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