SC orders union councils to begin registering Christian marriages


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered union councils across the country to start registering marriages of Christian couples.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, also instructed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to issue computerised marriage certificates to married Christian couples.

Disposing of the case, the CJP-led bench also ordered the Punjab government to formulate and enact legislation in this regard.

The petition filed in the SC contended that births of Christian babies were registered by union councils, but marriages of Christian couples were only registered with churches. The court had reserved its verdict in September 2018.

In March 2017, Pakistan formally implemented the Hindu Marriage Act 2017, that aims at protecting marriages and safeguarding the legitimate rights of Hindus in Pakistan.

The National Assembly had initially passed the bill in September 2016, but it was approved by the Senate with an amendment in February 2017.

The bill was again presented in and passed by the National Assembly on March 9, 2017.