The government is issuing an advisory to make it mandatory for users of matrimonial websites to provide an identity proof before creating an account on match-making portals.
The advisory, approved by the IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, also requires such websites to keep a record of the IP addresses of its members for one year even after they close their account. “Several complaints were lodged with the Ministry of Communications and IT and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which prompted the government to take this step…with this, the legal standards governing matrimonial sites are laid down clearly,” sources in the Telecom Ministry said.
“The ministry had received a number of complaints on matrimonial sites being used to dupe prospective brides and grooms, used for illegal activities related to certain rackets being run, as well as other problems,” explained a senior ministry official. “Matrimonial websites are an intermediary under Section 2 of the IT Act and (have) to follow the Act.”
As per the advisory, matrimonial websites will need to confirm the “user’s intent to enter in to matrimonial alliance” and “confirm that the user information is correct to the best his or her knowledge” when they register to join the platform.
The advisory clearly bars websites from creating dating platforms. It requires that “service providers should make a declaration that the website is strictly for matrimonial purpose only and not a dating website and should not be used for posting obscene material.”