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Child Marriage in India

India is a secular and cultural county, for more than a thousand years different types of religious and cultural people live here. They are also practice their own religious and cultural practice. Marriage is one of that. Marriage is a very complex subject by itself. It is very hard to define marriage. Every religion has their own definition of marriage and also marriage can define in many other accept like socially, philosophically etc. But important is religious accept. And child marriage is one of the worst accept of all of this marriage.

Concept of Hindu Marriage

The concept of Hindu marriage, it is not a social contract; it is religious sacrament. Marriage to a Hindu is of great individual and social significance. It is a socially approved union of man and woman aiming at procreation, pleasure and observance of certain social obligations. In Hindu marriage it is treated as a Holy bond or union between two souls. It is not union for this life but also for coming life as well.

Marriage is considered as essential rule. It is essential for every Hindu to marry. The definition given by R.N. Sharma of a Hindu marriage seems to be the most appropriate one. He views it as "a religious sacrament in which a man and a woman are bound in permanent relationship for the physical, social and spiritual purposes of dharma, procreation and sexual pleasure."

Concept of Muslim Marriage:

Under the Islamic law there is no celibacy and marriage are considered as an institute of contract and a halal way to include in intimacy between a man and women. Justice Mitter in Subaunnisa's case of Calcutta High Court AIR 1934 cal 603 observe marriage under Muslim law and is like sale of contract. Sale is transfer of property. In contract of marriage the wife is the property for a price. Therefore, the similarity of a Muslim marriage and a contract are co-pronouncing some Jurist have treated it entirely as a civil contract.

Concept of Christian Marriage

Christians are believed that marriage is a gift of a god which everyone should accept. And they also believe that it is a public declaration of love and commitment and it is perfect atmosphere for engaging with sexual relationship and make a family.

Concept of Child Marriage

The people of India earlier in the day and some old ministered people in present days thinks that child mind is comparatively easier to adaptability and sustenance. As the mind grows, it tends to become more habitual to firmness within the decision-making process, thus leaving far less possibilities for the couples to compromise on situations.

There another concept that girls are property of other it is very necessary that girl should married before getting some age (8 years old) if it is not then that family declared as an unlucky and untouchable. Fear of this punishment fathers are forced their daughter getting married even some time girls had to marriage five time older than her age man.

Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929

In 1927, Rai Sahib Harbilas Sarda introduced the Child Marriage Restraint Bill which fixed age of bride is 14 years old and bride groom age is 18 years old. In 1949, it became 15 years for girls and in 1978 the compulsory age became 18 years for girls and 21 for boys.

Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

The PCMA received the assent of the President of India on 10th January, 2007. The act came into effect from 1st November, 2007.

The basic premise of the law is as follows:

  • Make a child go through a marriage is an offence;
  • Child or minors is a person up to 18 years in the case of girls and 21 years in the case of boys.
  • Punishment is 15 days of imprisonment or 1000 Rs fine or both.
  • If anyone marry before this age than the marriage become null and void.
  • Sexual intercourse with minor wife even she is (your) wife it is illegal and punishable under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code. (Independent Thought v. Union of India 2017)
Case Laws:
  • Lajja v State
    The Delhi High court held that the PCMA, 2006 authority over any personal laws (Hindu, Muslim, Christian and tribble law).
  • Manish Singh vs State Govt of Nct and Ors. on 7 December, 2005
    Marriage legal age is 18 years for girl and 21 years for boys.
  • Dev Kishan And Ors. Lrs. Of Kishan vs Ram Kishan and Ors. on 9 May, 2002
    The expenses incurred in connection with the marriage of a child cannot constitute legal necessity.
  • Bholu Khan vs State of Nct of Delhi & Ors. on 1 February, 2013
    Marriage before legal age it is null and void.
Child Marriage cannot erase without support from the society. So, the sooner the inequality is removed the sooner the child marriage will be removed from the society.

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