Sikh body to move SC over marriage act

Accusing the central government of usurping the identity of Sikhs by denying their demand for a separate marriage act, a Sikh students` body Friday announced it would move the Supreme Court against the decision.

Updated: Sep 02, 2011, 11:13 AM IST

Chandigarh: Accusing the central government of usurping the identity of Sikhs by denying their demand for a separate marriage act, a Sikh students` body Friday announced it would move the Supreme Court against the decision.

Sikh religious, social and political organisations are seeking the Anand Marriage Act for the registration of marriages of the community. Currently, Sikh marriages can be registered only under the Hindu Marriage Act.

"The government`s action of forcing Sikhs to register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act is in violation of equal rights provided under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

"The government cannot deny Sikhs to have their act as Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews already have their own marriage acts," All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) president Karnail Singh Peermohammad said here.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid had early this week said the government ruled out a separate marriage law for the Sikhs.

The AISSF has announced that it will file a constitutional petition before the Supreme Court, challenging the government`s refusal to pass the Anand Marriage Act.

"The petition will request the Supreme Court to order the government of India to give equal rights to Sikhs under Article 14 and 15 of the constitution by passing the Anand Marriage Act. The government decision in this regard is a discrimination against the Sikh community and an open attack on the Sikh identity," Peermohammad said.

The AISSF announced that it will also launch a `Proud to be Sikh Campaign` to build public movement in support of the Anand Marriage Act. The federation will collect one million signatures in its support.

AISSF secretary general Davinder Singh Sodhi said the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Akali Dal and other Sikh bodies had failed to protect the interests of Sikhs by not being able to force the government to allow a separate marriage act for the community.

IANS