In a move to "check misuse" of matrimonial websites, the government wants them to make it mandatory, to authenticate users with true copies of identity and address proofs.
They also asked the websites to check obscene materials and ensure that the websites don't becoming dating platforms.
IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday approved an advisory on functioning of the matrimonial websites, which will give details about the set of rules they need to follow to check abuse on their platforms, official sources said.
"Matrimonial websites are intermediary under section 2 of Information Technology Act and they are mandated to follow IT Act," a source said.
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.
With this advisory coming in place, users of matrimonial websites will be required to submit or upload true copies of supporting documents such as proof of identity and address for the purpose of user verification.
"It is advisable that matrimonial websites should provide a list of legally verifiable document which shall serve proof of identity," the advisory said.
This comes after, the draft guidelines for matrimonial websites, outlined by the ministry of women and child development (WCD) under Maneka Gandhi were formulated last month.
Speaking to NDTV, Maneka Gandhi had also stated that an example of the online character assassination of women lie in matrimonial ads. Women who place these or are featured in them, she said, are targeted "with dirty calls" late at night, and are harassed and stalked.
The NDTV report also adds:
The minister said that initially, the companies that run these matrimonial online services had refused to cooperate, and it took the efforts of the Telecom Ministry and others to force them to protect women and to reveal details of abusers.
The latest advisory also said that the users will require to confirm their intent for using the platform and it clearly bars websites to disguise dating platforms as matrimonial websites.
The advisory also said that "service providers should make a declaration that website is strictly for matrimonial purpose only and not a dating website and should not be used for posting obscene material."
Government has advised that matrimonial websites should caution users against possible fraudsters and encourage users to report any fraudulent activity on the website.
It said that users need to verify credentials of the statements that matrimonial websites do not authenticate about any profile unless specifically stated.
Matrimonial websites under new rules will be required to name grievances redressal officer on their portals.
Besides, the new rule mandates "matrimonial websites should store IP address of profile creator for one year from the date of activation," it said.
Though matrimonial websites declined to comment before reading the advisory, Anupam Mittal, founder of Shaadi.com, told Livemint:
â€śWe are glad that the government is concerned about womenâ€™s safety and as a responsible company, we will continue doing our bit. We look forward to reading the guidelines,â€ť said