21 Legal Age for Marriage in India

An article published in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy that examined marriage laws around the world showed that in Mozambique, the age at which brides and grooms can marry is the same as 18. Ironically, Mozambique has about 56% of child marriages (under the age of 18), which is much higher than in India. This suggests that the mere imposition of a law that creates an equal minimum age for marriage does not necessarily show an increase in the improvement of women and the achievement of the objectives enumerated by the government in the introduction of this bill. It is imperative that the government supplement this legislation with various other frameworks and systems. However, this is not to say that parity of the minimum age for marriage is unnecessary and will not bring results. It is crucial not to implement this law in isolation, but with other policies to achieve the objectives set by the government. The Child Marriage Restriction Act, also known as the Sarda Act,[29] was a law restricting the practice of child marriage. It entered into force on 1 April 1930 and covered the whole country, with the exception of some princely states such as Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir. In this law, the age of marriage was set at 18 years for men and 14 years for women. In 1949, after India`s independence, the minimum age for women was raised to 15, and in 1978 it was raised again to 18 and 21 for both women and men. The sentence for a man between the ages of 18 and 21 who married a child became a prison sentence of up to 15 days, a fine of 1,000 rupees, or both.

The sentence for a man over the age of 21 became a prison sentence of up to three months and a possible fine. Punishment for anyone who conducted or presided over a child marriage ceremony became a prison sentence of up to three months and a possible fine, unless they could prove that the marriage they had entered into was not a child marriage. The penalty imposed on a parent or guardian of a child in the marriage has become a prison sentence of up to three months or a possible fine. [30] It was amended in 1940 and 1978 to further raise the age of male and female children. [29] “Girls will be seen as a heavier burden [because of the extra years they are supported before marriage]. Parents will say, “Why did we have to give birth to girls!” one participant noted. Then, on the 21st. In December 2021, the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Act 2021 was introduced to the Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 to raise the minimum age for women to marry. In addition to raising the minimum age of marriage from 18 to 21 for women, the bill also provides for the annulment of child marriages up to the age of 23 instead of 20 and provides that the provisions of the potential law take precedence over any other law, custom, custom or practice governed by the parties to the marriage. according to the bill.

In rabbinic Judaism, men cannot consent to marriage until they reach the age of 13 and one day and have gone through puberty, and women cannot consent to marriage until they reach the age of 12 and one day and have gone through puberty. Men and women are considered minors until the age of twenty. After twenty years, men are not considered adults if they show signs of impotence. If men do not show signs of puberty or impotence, they automatically grow up at the age of 35 and can get married. [277] [278] A ketanne (literally “little [one]) was any girl between the ages of 3 and 12 plus a day; [281] She was under her father`s authority, and he was able to arrange a marriage for her without her consent. [281] However, after reaching the deadline, she would have to accept marriage to be considered married. [282] [283] This is also apparent from the NFHS 5 report, which mentions that 14.7% of total marriages in urban areas are child marriages, much better than those in rural areas at 27%. The same report also mentions that the percentage of women who fall into the category of early pregnancies in urban areas was much lower at 3.8%, compared to 7.9% in rural areas. This shows a clear gap between urban and rural environments, which is due to the better education and health conditions in urban areas. Child marriage in India, under Indian law, is a marriage in which either the woman is under the age of 18 or the man is under the age of 21. Most child marriages involve girls, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions. Among academics and feminist activists, the benefits of delaying marriage are widely accepted.

But the idea of a legal solution to postpone girls` marriage has alarmed many of them. They say this may not be a good way to prevent early marriage or improve maternal health, and could backfire. The Age of Marriage Bill is deeply political. Following the amendment of the Muslim Divorce Law, the government raised the minimum age of marriage. In fact, it systematically hacks into the personal laws of the communities and thus moves towards a Unified Civil Code (CDU) without actually promulgating one. In India, the legal age of marriage is currently 18 for girls and 21 for boys. Mitharwal says several of his friends were married by his family as soon as they turned 18. “At this age, girls are not prepared for marriage,” she says. “They`re just coming out of high school when their parents arrange their marriage and finish their education.” On the 23rd. In December 2021, the Karnataka Assembly passed the Anti-Conversion Bill – The Karnataka Religious Freedom Protection Bill 2021. The bill proposes a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for forcibly transforming people from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribe communities, minors and women into another religion, and more.

Like marriage, religion and faith must be a private matter of the citizen, but the state wants more and more control. Karnataka`s law follows similar laws in several other states. Although he supports the proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram has proposed not to enact the law until 2023. The coming year, he says, should be used by the government to educate people about the benefits of marriage only when a person reaches the age of 21.

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