Maharashtra Separate Law for Buddhist Marriages

The state government has come up with a draft of the proposed Boudha (Buddhist) Marriage Act 2017, which lays down the process to be followed by the Buddhist community while solemnising marriages with its own traditional rituals. The draft, however, does not touch upon divorce, maintenance and property issues, and there is no clarity on inter-caste marriages either. 

The community has been demanding such an act since 1957, after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to the faith on October 14, 1956 in Nagpur. The demand got a push after the marriage of a Buddhist couple done with Buddhist rituals, which was challenged in the Bombay high court (Nagpur bench), was held invalid in 1972. “Two other cases also created doubts in the minds of people about the validity of marriages performed with Buddhist rituals. So the demand was made that either the Hindu Marriage Act should be amended or a new act drafted,” an official said.