What is the News?
The draft Arunachal Pradesh Marriage and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2021 has met with strong opposition in the State.
About Draft Arunachal Pradesh Marriage and Inheritance of Property Bill, 2021:
- The bill focuses on the provisions related to the legal status of marriage, the procedure of marriage registration, property right of the wife, widow’s rights, treating polygamy as an offence.
- The two significant contributions of the bill is with respect to the criminalization of polygamy (prospectively means second marriage held before the law comes into force will not be affected) and the property right of the legally wedded wife and widow.
Why is the bill being opposed?
- One of the clauses of the bill deals with the ‘Right of an APST (Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe) woman married to non-APST on immovable property owned and acquired by her’.
- The clause states that an APST woman shall enjoy the right of any immovable property owned and acquired by her in her lifetime.
- In the event of her death, her husband and her heir would have full rights of its disposal and alienation to any indigenous tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
- This provision is seen as an invitation to outsiders to take over tribal land through marriage. Further, this provision is also considered against the customary practice.
- Hence, due to this, the draft Bill is termed as “anti-tribal”, “anti-Arunachal”.
What do the organizations want now?
- The Student Organizations has said that they will not allow the Bill to be passed in the State Assembly unless a tribal woman who marries anyone belonging to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (non-APST) is stripped of her ST status and benefits.