Maharashtra plans to bring law to protect and encourage inter-caste, inter-faith marriages

The Maharashtra government is planning to enact a law to encourage inclusion in society through inter caste and inter religion marriages. The government plans to enact a law to provide security for couples who may be threatened by acts of honour killing.

Minister of Social Justice Mr Rajkumar Badole said, “The couples – where spouses are from different religions or castes – have to face various problems, including social boycott and the threat of honour killing. Hence, besides other aspects, the law will focus on what kind of protection can be given to the couples who are facing threat to their lives.”

Maharashtra ranks 4th in the list of honour killings as per National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) Data. The NCRB, in its report ‘Crime in India 2016 Statistics’, stated that out of a total 69 such cases reported to it that year, eight people were killed in the name of ‘honour killing’

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He also said that the proposed law will provide all the benefits of reservation and concessions to children, which is hitherto claimed by either of their parents. The drawback of existing laws was that the concessions and reservations would not continue if one of the spouses is from a backward community and another from the general category. Apart from that, the government will provide special concessions such as fee waiver to the children born out of intercaste and inter-religion marriages, he said. “There are also instances where such couples face social boycott. They will be given protection,” he said.

He said that he would consult law experts from Muslim and other communities to ensure that it does not interfere with their personal civil law. He said his government intends to bring a law which is implementable on the ground as the existing laws had several lacunae. The bill also provides for funds for these couples to start and support new life in case of social boycott. A few days back, the minister held a review meeting of the committee constituted to frame the law and asked it to prepare the draft in the next two-three months.

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