India

Will investigate whether a 16-year-old Muslim girl is capable of marriage: SC

The Supreme Court on Monday said it would examine the question of whether a 16-year-old Muslim girl is capable of entering into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice, given the ban on child marriage.

Issuing notice on a petition by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision on June 13, 2022, an SC Bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka directed senior advocate Rajasekhar to also appointed. Rao has been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the commission, said it is a “serious issue” given its potential impact on child marriage and the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012. He urged the bench, however, to examine the matter in detail.

The HC had allowed this while disposing of a Muslim couple’s security petition, citing Muslim Personal Law, in which a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl approached the HC for the safety of their lives and freedom from family members. Did. The couple were the petitioners in the case.

The petitioner couple, through their counsel, argued that in Muslim law, puberty and majority are the same, and it is held that a person attains adulthood at the age of 15. He further argued that a Muslim boy or girl who has reached puberty is free to marry any person of his choice and the guardian has no right to interfere.

The HC, in its order, had said, “The law is clear that the Muslim Personal Law governs the marriage of a Muslim girl. As per Article 195 of the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law’ by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla, Petitioner No. 2 (Girl) is more than 16 years of age; he is competent to contract a marriage with a person of his choice. The age of petitioner No. 1 (the boy) is above 21 years. Thus, both the petitioners, as envisaged by Muslim Personal Law, are of marriageable age….”

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