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