SHILLONG, Jan 09: Maitshaphrang Movement on Tuesday petitioned the State Election Commission (EC) to make it mandatory for all candidates in the upcoming Assembly polls to furnish marriage certificate while filing of nomination papers. The movement also sought the nomination papers of candidates to be declared ‘invalid’ in case they fail to furnish the marriage certificate.
In a petition to State’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Frederick R Kharkongor on Tuesday, Maitshaphrang convener Michael Syiem said, “We request you to make it mandatory for all candidates to furnish a marriage registration certificate along with other relevant documents, at the time of filing their nomination papers.”
It is to be mentioned here that the state government has also passed Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Rules, 2016 for effective implementation of the Act, 2012 in the state.
According to Syiem, the state election commission should implement the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2012 in the upcoming assembly polls, which will also act as the first test case to see how effectively this Act is being implemented in the state and to know the loopholes, if there are any
He is of the opinion that since the legislators themselves have made the law, they should also be the first one to implement this marriage act passed by them.
Mentionably, Syiem has been crusading for many years demanding to put in place a compulsory registration marriage Act in the State.
Citing one of the clauses in the Act, he said “it is mandatory for married man and married women to compulsorily furnish a marriage certificate for all official purposes.”
Syiem also informed that many departments of the state government are yet to implement the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2012 adding that the delay could be due to the fact that the Act has been amended twice.
He also threatened to approach the Meghalaya High Court if the state government fails to implement the Act in letter and spirit.
“We will have to consult legal experts before taking a call to approach the Court which will happen only after the upcoming Assembly polls,” Syiem stated.
However, the Maitshaphrang leader informed that the chief electoral officer has assured that the matter will be consulted with the law department since the state election department is govern by the Election Commission of India’s guidelines.