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Govt to issue new circular on Muslim marriages

Govt to issue new circular on Muslim marriages

Thiruvananthapuram: As the previous circular issued by the Local Administrative Department Principal Secretary kicked up a row in Kerala, the State government is planning to issue a new circular on Muslim marriage.

According to reports, the new circular will give strict orders for the secretaries of local self government to prevent child-marriages. However, the government will not withdraw previous circular.

Earlier, an official circular directing local bodies to register marriages of Muslim girls above the age of 16 and men who have not attained the age of 21 years has kicked up a row in Kerala.

The circular, issued by Local Administration Department Principal Secretary, directs secretaries of civic bodies to register marriages of Muslim girls and men who have not attained the mandatory age limit of 18 and 21 respectively on production of a certificate from the religious regulatory institution.

Official sources said the circular was issued following complaints that secretaries of civic bodies, functioning as registrars, were reluctant to register such marriages, causing difficulties for those who want to migrate to Gulf countries which insisted on marriage certificates from civic bodies.

The pro-Left women and cultural organisations have come out against the circular, which, they said, would push the state to medieval ages.

Leader of the Opposition V.S Achuthanandan has sought action against the Principal Secretary in charge of Local Administration Department, who had issued a controversial circular on Muslim marriages.

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