//Hindu leaders ask SA Govt to amend marriage Act

Hindu leaders ask SA Govt to amend marriage Act

Durban, May 29 (PTI): Hindu leaders in South Africa have asked the Government to amend the country's Marriage Act to accomodate customs and practices of the religion.

The call followed an application by one Suchitra Singh to the local High Court for recoginition of her Hindu marriage to Jailall Ramparsad in Durban 18 years ago.

Singh, who was forced to move out out of her marital home by her husband four years ago, now wants a legal separation to marry someone else. But this could happen only after her marriage is recoginised by the country's law.

She claimed in her application that her rights had been violated by the Marriage Act of South Africa as it did not recoginise her Hindu marriage.

President of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of South Africa, Bisraam Rambilaas, said a Hindu marriage was a "binding contact" and any attempt to dilute its importance was unacceptable.

"The fact that a couple may choose not to register their marriage (under South African Marriage Act) should not detract from the gravity and solemnity of the Hindu marriage", he said.

In another case, a Muslim woman of Cape Town, Nazeeme du Toit, has taken her case to the International Tribunal after the Cape High Court, the Appeals Court and the Constitutional Court declined to recoginise her 28 years-old marriage.

Toit said her husband was a millionaire but she and her children had been abandoned and all she wanted was the courts to recognise her Muslim marriage so that she could get compensation.