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Sindh Assembly rejects ‘The Sindh Compulsory Marriage Bill, 2021’

KARACHI   –  Sindh Assembly on Tuesday rejected introduction of ‘The Sindh Compulsory Marriage Bill, 2021’—aimed at making marriages compulsory for the adults who attain the age of 18 years—after the government opposed the same.

Syed Abdul Rasheed of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) while moving a motion to introduce the bill demanded that the same should be referred to Council of Islamic Ideology for further deliberations. “The Sindh Assembly had passed a law to restraint marriage of children under 18 which means 18 years are fixed for solemnising marriage,” he added.

The MMA lawmaker was of the view that the bill would bring well-being in the society, asking the parents to ensure that their children who attain the age of 18 years should get married. Rasheed also asked the provincial government to facilitate the parents by imposing ban on unnecessary rituals in wedding ceremonies.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla opposed the bill and asked the MMA member to conveyance the house in his support of his stance. “First you should tell the house so as to why you are opposing the bill,” Rasheed replied. In the meantime, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani moved the motion to the house that rejected the same with majority of votes.

Separately, the house also rejected amendments suggested by Firdous Shamim Naqvi of PTI in Child Marriage Restraint Act. Moving a motion to introduce ‘The Sindh Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2020’, the PTI member said that there was no explanation for punishment in the present Act for parents who force their children under 18 years to get married. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla refuted Naqvi’s claim and said that The Sindh Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act covered all the aspects and the parents or guardians could be punished if they forced the children under 18 to get married.

In a rare event, the Assembly took 11 private members bill; however, all of them were opposed by the treasury followed by rejection in the voting.

Saeed Ahmed Afridi of PTI tabled ‘The Sindh Prohibition of Private Money Lending Bill, 2019’ against interest system but Chawla opposed the same and maintained that the provincial government was going to bring the similar government bill after budget session.

The other rejected bills included PTI Adeeba Hassan’s ‘The Sindh Differently-Able Persons (Employment, Rehabilitation and Welfare) (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Sindh Child Protection Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2018; Khurram Sher Zaman’s The West Pakistan Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965 (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2019; and The Memon University Bill, 2019 moved by Syed Aijaz Hussain Shah Bukhari of ruling PPP.

Tabled by Ghazala Sial of PPP, ‘The Sindh Prohibition of Dowry and Wasteful Expenses Bill, 2020’ and PTI Omar Omari’s ‘The Sindh Student Union Bill, 2019’ could not be moved in the house due to their absence.

Rabia Azfar Nizami of PTI withdrew her ‘The Sindh Prohibition of Methametaphine Bill, 2018’, maintaining that similar sort of amendments were incorporated by the government in Anti-Narcotics Bill. Moved by Arif Mustafa Jatoi, ‘The Sindh Civil Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2019’ was deferred as the matter was sub-judice Later, the house was adjourned to 15th June.

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