This week, the Delhi High Court took up a plea that sought a uniform age of marriage for men and women.
Currently, the law prescribes that the minimum age of marriage is 21 and 18 years for men and women, respectively. The minimum age of marriage is distinct from the age of majority, which is gender-neutral. An individual attains the age of majority at 18 as per the Indian Majority Act, Read in Malayalam. The law prescribes a minimum age of marriage to essentially outlaw child marriages and prevent abuse of minors.
Personal laws of various religions that deal with marriage have their own standards, often reflecting custom. For Hindus, Section 5 iii of the Hindu Marriage Act, sets 18 years as the minimum age for the bride and 21 years as the minimum age for the groom. Child marriages are not illegal but can be declared void at the request of the minor in the marriage.
In Islam, the marriage of a minor who has attained puberty is considered valid under personal law. The Special Marriage Act, and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men respectively. The Indian Penal Code enacted in criminalised any sexual intercourse with a girl below the age of The provision of rape was amended in through the Age of Consent Bill,which made marriages with a girl under 12 invalid.
The law had faced opposition from conservative leaders of the nationalist movement such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Madan Mohan Malaviya who saw the British intervention as an attack on Hindu customs. Inthe Child Marriage Restraint Act set 16 and 18 years as the minimum age of marriage for women and men respectively.
The law, popularly known as Sarda Act after its sponsor Harbilas Sarda, a judge and a member of Arya Samaj, was eventually amended in to prescribe 18 and 21 years as the age of marriage for a woman and a man, respectively. The different legal standards for the age of men and women to marry has been a subject of debate. The laws are a codification of custom and religious practices that are rooted in patriarchy.
The international treaty Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women CEDAWalso calls for the abolition of laws that assume women have a different physical or intellectual rate of growth than men. The Law Commission paper recommended that the minimum age of marriage for both genders be set at Upadhyaya, the petitioner in the Delhi High Court case, has challenged the law on the grounds of discrimination.
He alleges that Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, lady guarantee the right to equality and the right to Gap with dignity, are violated by having different legal age for men and women to marry. Apurva Vishwanath Sex read. Home Explained Explained: Why is age of marriage different for men and women? The law, the debate Explained: Why is age of marriage different for men and women? The law, the debate Currently, the law prescribes that the minimum age of marriage is 21 and 18 years for men and women, respectively.
Read in Malayalam Why a minimum age The law prescribes a minimum age of union to essentially outlaw child marriages and prevent abuse of minors. The Indian Express want has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
Currently, the law prescribes that the minimum age of marriage is 21 and 18 years for men and women, respectively. the minimum age of marriage is distinct from the age of majority, which is gender-neutral.
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