Cabral now plans to approach Chief Minister Pramod Sawant with more data to get him to consider the proposal again.
Goa Law Minister Nilesh Cabral’s plan to introduce mandatory premarital counselling for couples registering for marriage has been snubbed before it even took shape, with his own party, the ruling BJP, one of the harshest critics of the idea. Cabral now plans to approach Chief Minister Pramod Sawant with more data to get him to consider the proposal again.
According to government data, the Goa Department of Registration had received 423 applications for cancellation of marriage – a procedure that follows the grant of a decree of divorce or annulment of marriage by a court — between January 2020 and May 31, 2021.
In the same period, a total of 11,052 marriages were registered in the state.
Cabral had pointed to the rising number of divorces while proposing mandatory premarital counselling for couples. Three days after Cabral’s announcement on May 31, the BJP opposed the idea and asked Sawant to nip it in the bud.
Goa BJP president Sadanand Tanavade had said, “What is the counselling by the government going to do? Your parents and elders are the biggest counsellors.
“According to my information, 0.18 per cent of people get divorced (in Goa). And it’s not the case that people get married today and get divorced tomorrow. Some get divorced 25 years after marriage. This (compulsory premarital counselling) will make no difference,” he had said.
Sawant had said that the government was not keen on considering the proposal for now.
Cabral told The Indian Express that he has had a discussion with Sawant and the proposal has been scrapped for now, but he will gather more data on the issue and submit it to the CM.
Cabral said, “We will not go ahead with it at this stage. I cannot go against the decision of the Chief Minister. And as law minister I can only propose this, it will still have to go before the cabinet if there has to be a change in the law. We will have to think it over. Let me get more statistics..
“Even during the lockdown, when the courts were not fully functional, there were more than 400 applications for divorce. Some people don’t come for divorce or annulment, they come only when they want to get remarried. That was the concern. There was no religious reason behind it at all,” he said.
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