Published By The Daily Star on November 03, 2015 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies.

We are a Hindu couple who got married in 2000. The marriage was performed by a Purohit of our locality in Chittagong following all religious formalities under Hindu law. But we didn’t get any registration for the marriage. Recently, we have heard that the marriage of Hindus can be registered. Can we register our marriage now and if so how? If we do not register, will it affect our marriage anyhow?

Thank you for your query. It is understood that you are desirous to know about certain issues related to the registration of Hindu marriages in Bangladesh.

It is important to mention that previously registration of marriages solemnised under Hindu law was not possible in Bangladesh up until the passing of The Hindu Marriage Registration Act, 2012. Under this Act, rules were formulated in January 2013, namely the Hindu Marriage Registration Rules, 2013. Amended in September 2013, section 3 of the Act provides that such registration is discretionary, i.e. the marriage will be considered as valid even if the same is not registered.

Now, though your marriage took place in 2000 and the registration related law was enacted only in 2012, as per the law you can now register your marriage now or anytime in future.

A Hindu marriage performed in Bangladesh may be registered with the Hindu Marriage Registrar, who has jurisdiction over the locality of the marriage area. In case of City Corporation area, one or more (but not more than three) registrars are appointed, and in case of other areas, one registrar is appointed for each Upazila (Sub-district). Marriage needs to be registered with the registrar, who is appointed for the area where the marriage took place.

To register the marriage, either you or your wife will have to make an application to the marriage concerned registrar. A passport size photograph of both the bride and the bridegroom must be attached with the application. After submitting the application if the registrar is satisfied that the marriage has been conducted properly, he will register the marriage. While may not be very relevant for you to know, for the readers in general it is pertinent to mention that National IDs or Birth Certificate or Junior School Certificate or Secondary School Certificate or any other equivalent certificate needs to be provided to the registrar in order to verify the age of the bride and bridegroom. If such documents are not available then an affidavit, verifying the age of the parties, has to be provided by the parents or guardians of the bride and bridegroom. The minimum age of the bridegroom is 21 years and the bride is 18 years which is also as per the general law.

Hindu marriage registration fee is BDT 1000/- and fee for the transcript/certificate is BDT 100/-. Bridegroom is responsible to pay the registration fee. Upon registration, the parties may apply for transcript/copy of the registration from the Registrar. It is expedient to mention that a Marriage Certificate may also be issued though the same is not required under the law. I would be very glad if your above reply could assist you to meet your queries.

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