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16-YEAR-OLD MUSLIM GIRL CAN GET INTO A CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE

16-YEAR-OLD MUSLIM GIRL CAN GET INTO A CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE

                                   Gulam Deen and another v. State of Punjab and others

The Punjab And Haryana High Court last week granted protection to a Muslim Girl (16 Year Old) who married a Muslim boy (21 year old) while observing  that she is of Marriageable Age under Muslim Personal Law. Essentially, the Bench of Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi was hearing a protection plea filed by by the couple (both Muslims) who solemnized their marriage as per Muslim rites and ceremonies. The couple contended before the Court that in Muslim law, puberty and majority are one and the same and that there is a presumption that a person attains majority at the age of 15 years.

It is further submitted that a Muslim boy or Muslim girl who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry anyone he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere.

It may be noted that as per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’, Every Mahomedan of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage, and Puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of fifteen.

On December 15, 2021, the Union Cabinet cleared the proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. This would move bring the legal age of marriage for women at par with men which is 21 years.

The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani introduced in the Lok Sabha the “Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, which seeks to increase the age of marriage for women to 21 years across all religions.

Source – livelaw

Written by AKHILA NAIR                            

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