Meghalaya NGO demands marriage bill

SHILLONG, Oct 13 – The Mait Shaphrang Movement (MSM) has announced an indefinite hunger strike from next week if the State Government fails to frame rules for Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Bill, 2012.

Announcing the hunger strike here on Thursday, MSM Convener Michael Syiem said that the government has not framed the rules, even though the Assembly approved the Bill two years back.

“The government has said that the Law department has drafted the rules and it has been sent to the Cabinet, but the Cabinet is yet to discuss the issue,” Syiem said.

He added that the government has shown prompt interest in framing rules and make laws in several matters, but in the case of compulsory registration of marriage, the government, for some unknown reasons, was not considering the Bill.

He pointed out that two months back, the Cabinet has approved the Meghalaya Street Vendors and Protection of Livelihood Regulation Bill, 2014. This Bill has to go to the Assembly, however, in the meantime the government has passed an ordinance.

“The government is showing priority for several other matters, but showing the least interest in tackling the increasing number of broken families in the State,” he stated.

He pointed out that the number of juvenile crime has increased due to the increasing number of broken families and if the government does not frame the law than the problem of juvenile crime would only increase in the State.

The MSM has been fighting for the implementation of the Marriage Bill. It has also been fighting for a law to ensure equitable distribution of self-acquired and ancestral wealth.

Meanwhile, Syiem said that if the government does not frame the rules for the compulsory registration of marriage law it would sit for an indefinite hunger strike till the government gives in to their demand.