MPs call for a new mar­riage act

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Wangmo

The ma­jor­ity of MPs in the Na­tional As­sem­bly sub­mit­ted that the Mar­riage Act of Bhutan be rewrit­ten in its en­tirety af­ter the house’s Women, Chil­dren and Youth Com­mit­tee pro­posed on 21 Novem­ber that 16 clauses of the act be amended.

Pan­bang MP Dorji Wangdi sub­mit­ted that the act is out­dated as it was writ­ten in the 1980s.

He said, “It is time to frame a new mar­riage act as well as an in­her­i­tance act as the two acts are in­ter­linked.”

He added that the mar­riage act, as it stands to­day, is dif­fi­cult to be in­ter­preted not only by the com­mon peo­ple but also by le­gal pro­fes­sion­als.

For­eign Min­is­ter Dam­cho Dorji echoed Dorji Wangdi’s view that it was bet­ter to write a new act as even lawyers found it dif­fi­cult to in­ter­pret it.

Chumey-Ura MP, Tshe­wang Jurmi, the chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee, re­ported that the com­mit­tee had con­ducted a broad dis­cus­sion with more than 30 par­tic­i­pants from 18 agen­cies. He said that the com­mit­tee had pro­posed amend­ments af­ter com­pre­hen­sive re­search of the Mar­riage Act, Child Pro­tec­tion Act and the Pe­nal Code.

The com­mit­tee was con­fi­dent to frame a new law as it had done all the ground work.

Some amend­ments the com­mit­tee had pro­posed ear­lier in­cluded child sup­port al­lowance, sep­a­ra­tion cost payable by the per­son com­mit­ting cru­elty and re­spon­si­bil­ity for the up­bring­ing of il­le­git­i­mate child of the de­ceased mother.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter and Op­po­si­tion Leader also sup­ported the fram­ing of a new mar­riage act in the next ses­sion.

Khar-Yu­rung MP, Dasho Zanglay Drukpa, said, “It will have productive and valu­able re­sults in the next ses­sion by col­lect­ing peo­ple’s view.”

Tshe­wang Jurmi sub­mit­ted that since the mar­riage act is one of the most used acts amend­ing it would have huge ben­e­fits for so­ci­ety.

The com­mit­tee will move a mo­tion for the third read­ing in the ninth ses­sion with a pro­posal to amend the act in its en­tirety.

For now, 46 clauses of the Mar­riage Act were amended in 1996, six clauses in 2005, one clause in 2006 and 10 clauses in 2009.

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