The Hush Post | 5:11 pm | Two-minute read |
Well, the question to examine came on a petition by a 15 year married Muslim girl from Uttar Pradesh. But a bigger question is what if a girl attains puberty at the age of 11 or 12. The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the question. And what has complicated the matter is the Supreme Court’s earlier judgment.
Javed, a 22-year-old adult and his 16-year-old minor wife have moved the Supreme Court after the Allahabad High Court rejected their petition. The girl contended that she has attained puberty and shall be allowed to marry a person of her choice under the Mohammedan law.
General Indian laws say a groom has to be 21 years of age and the girl to be of at least of 18 years to get married.
The girl had married Javed on June against her family’s wishes. Her father had filed a complaint against Javed under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC with the Ram Gaon police station in Bahraich district.
Despite saying that she had married out of her own free will, a judicial magistrate sent her to the custody of the district child welfare committee.
The couple challenged the lower court’s order in the Allahabad High Court. The girl said she was over 15 years of age and could marry after attaining puberty. She told the court that under Mohammedan law, a girl attains puberty when she is 15. The minimum age of 18 for a girl under the general law was not applicable in her case, she said. So the directive to send her to the Nari Niketan amounted to illegal detention.
However, the high court dismissed her petition on the ground that she was a juvenile under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, and held the marriage void.
Now the couple has prayed to the apex court and cited its very own judgment to buttress its case. The top court has laid down some directives regarding Muslim marriage in the Shafin Jahan vs Asokan case last year.
The Supreme Court had in 2018 recognised attaining of puberty as a condition for a valid Muslim marriage.
A bench of Justices N.V. Ramana, Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi asked the couple’s lawyer to serve a copy of their appeal to the Uttar Pradesh government. It posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.