Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Sat Maharaj is today saying that he will continue his fight against The Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill, 2016 which increases the legal age for marriage in T&T to 18.
On Friday, 35 Government and Opposition MPs voted in favour of the legislation which first went to Parliament last December and has been the focus of extensive debate.
Speaking during an interview on the Power Breakfast Show here on Power 102.1fm on Mr. Maharaj said he is exploring his legal options.
The Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill 2016 amends the Marriage Act, Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, Hindu Marriage Act, Orisa Marriage Act and Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act.
The Marriage Bill was passed in the Senate on January 17 and during the vote in the House of Representatives, 35 legislators voted in support of the new measure.
The other six legislators, including Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar, were not present when the vote was taken.
President of the Hindu Women’s Organization, Brenda Gopeesingh says the organization is delighted that the bill was passed but its members are not pleased that certain provisions from the WINAD report were not included; one of which would pertain to the protection of children.
When asked about the comments made by the General Secretary of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha that “the state was inviting itself into the bedroom of the population” Ms. Gopeesingh said that the Hindu Women’s Organization has a different position to that of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha.
The sentiments of Sat Maharaj- the Secretary General of the Sanatan Darma Maha Sabha are counter-productive. This is the view of former Temporary Senator and youth activist, Nikoli Edwards .
Maharaj has objected to the recent legislation enacted by government on the issue of Child Marriage in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a News Power Now interview this morning, Edwards said the need to upkeep tradition is not seen as it once was, in society.