Plea filed in SC challenging Rajasthan Marriage Bill permitting child marriages

By Legal Wires 4 Minutes Read

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 8 of the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 so far as it permits the registration of child marriages.

Youth Bar Association v. Union of India

The petition has been moved by the ‘Youth Bar Association of India’, an association of public-spirited, young and vigilant advocates of India.

The Rajasthan State Assembly had passed this 2021 bill amending the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 providing for mandatory registration of marriages including child marriages.

Under Section 8 of the 2009 Act, it is the duty of parties to submit a Memorandum for registration of marriage to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction the marriage is solemnized.

Till date, the procedure laid down was that if the bride or groom had not completed the age of 21 then their parents or their guardians had to submit the memorandum according to the 2009 Act. However, w.r.t to the 2021 amendment bill if the bride has not completed 18 years of age and or the groom has not completed 21 years of age, then their parents or their guardians have the duty to submit the memorandum.

The plea submits that it is not against the registration of the marriages per se, but permitting the registration of the child marriages would lead to a dangerous situation and may facilitate child abuse.

“Our country is a ‘welfare state’ and the Governments owes an obligation to work for the welfare of the nation. Children must be the paramount consideration, who happens to be the resources of a developing nation”, the petition stated.

The petition also submits that Section 8 of the 2021 Bill shields the solemnization of the marriages of children, having not completed the marriageable age. Therefore it would defeat the purpose of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 which had been enacted to curb such incidents of child marriage.

The plea also submits that the State Government does not have legislative competence of the vital issue relating to the compulsory registration of marriage as registration of marriage comes under the ambit of “vital statics” in Schedule VII List III Entry 30 of the Constitution of India.

Legal Wires

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