Va­lid­ity of mi­nor mar­riage: SC to in­ter­act with Mus­lim girl, kin

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation -

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Mon­day de­cided to in­ter­act with a 16-year old Mus­lim girl, her hus­band and fa­ther be­fore ad­ju­di­cat­ing on her plea that the Al­la­habad HC or­der declar­ing her mar­riage is void.

Abench headed by Jus­tice N V Ra­mana di­rected the UP gov­ern­ment to pro­duce the girl, who is liv­ing in a shel­ter home on the HC di­rec­tion, be­fore the SC along with her fa­ther on Oc­to­ber 1 and asked her hus­band to be also present. It di­rected the state to take the girl out of shel­ter home and take care of her.

The court was hear­ing an ap­peal filed by the mi­nor girl chal­leng­ing the HC’s de­ci­sion to send her to a women’s shel­ter home af­ter terming her mar­riage in­valid be­cause she was not of le­gal mar­riage­able age.

In In­dia, the le­gal age of mar­riage is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys un­der the Spe­cial Mar­riage Act, 1954, and Pro­hi­bi­tion of Child Mar­riage Act, 2006. But the SC in Shafin Jahan case recog­nised that a Mus­lim mar­riage was valid if the fol­low­ing con­di­tions were met — both in­di­vid­u­als pro­fessed Is­lam, both had reached pu­berty, there was an of­fer and ac­cep­tance in the pres­ence of two wit­nesses, giv­ing of ‘mehr’, and ab­sence of a pro­hib­ited de­gree of re­la­tion­ship.

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