Alarmed by the trend of quick divorces, Goa Law Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday said that the state government is coming up with a new policy, which will make pre-marriage counselling mandatory for couples.
Addressing a press conference here, Cabral said that the counselling course format would be finalised by the Goa government’s Goa Institute of Public administration and Rural Development (GIPARD) and added that religious institutions would also be allowed to conduct pre-marriage counselling.
“The number of cases (divorce) have increased a lot. So much so that there are many divorces in six months to one year. It is so fast. As a policy, the state registrars and other registrars we thought that pre counselling should be made compulsory before marriage to make them aware…” Cabral told mediapersons.
“We are starting the course with the help of GIPARD. It is not that we alone will do it (pre-marriage counselling) religious institutions are also welcome. Religious institutes will also certify with certain performa. They can also be trained to do this course,” Cabral also said.
The Law Minister however said that he was not aware of the exact number of divorce cases which are filed every month.
“I don’t have the exact number of divorce cases of divorce per month. Earlier there were not many cases. The number has increased now. Olden days, 10 years down the line, 14 years down the line, there weren’t so many cases. But now cases are increasing. This is a collective decision taken by us,” the cabinet minister said.
Interestingly, according to the 2011 government census, the coastal state of Goa has the lowest divorce and separation rate in the country. The census pegs it at less than one per cent of the total marriages registered, while in Maharashtra the rate is 11.85 per cent.