New Delhi: In a significant move, Government will bring in a bill in Parliament's Budget Session to make registration of marriages compulsory under a law for mandatory recording of births and deaths, notwithstanding one's religious affiliation, thereby providing legal protection especially in cases of inter-religious matrimony.

 The Union Cabinet on Thursday also approved introduction of the Anand Marriage Act, 1909 to provide for registration of marriages of Sikhs, fulfilling a long standing demand of the community.

The Cabinet approved introduction of the bill in the ongoing Budget Session to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 to include registration of marriages as well, Union Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

While marriages of Sikhs along with those of Buddhists and Jains are currently registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, Muslims, Parsis, Christians and Jews have separate Acts for registration of their marriages.

  Necessary provisions have also been made to avoid duplication of registration of marriages both under the proposed central legislation and state laws. The registration of marriages under the proposed amendment would, however, not affect any right recognised or acquired by any party to marriage under any law, custom or usage.

With this decision, the existing administrative mechanisms will be able to carry out such registration of marriages in accordance with the specified procedures and be able to maintain necessary records and statistics for registration of marriages also.

  The proposed bill will save the women from unnecessary harassment in matrimonial and maintenance cases. It will also provide evidentiary value in the matters of custody of children, right of children born from the wedlock and the age of the persons married.

In February 2006, the Supreme Court had directed the states and the central government that registration of marriages of all persons who are citizens of India and belonging to various religious denominations should be made compulsory in their respective states where they are solemnised.