After attaining puberty, a Muslim girl is free to marry anyone as per the Muslim Personal Law, The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed.
A bench of Justice Alka Sarin cited the provisions of article 195 of Muslim Personal Law that allows a pubescence Muslim girl to enter into matrimonial relations with a person of her choice.
Article 195 of the Muslim Personal Law clarifies that "every Muslim with a mature mind who has attained puberty can contract marriages."
"In case the evidence is unavailable or uncertain, the completion age of 15 should be considered as puberty age," the bench quoted the provisions of article 195.
"Lunatics and minors who have not attained puberty may be validly contracted in marriage by their respective guardians," the bench further elaborated. "The marriage of a Mahomedan, who has a sound mind and has attained puberty, is void if it has been brought about without his consent," it added.
The ruling came after a Muslim couple filed a plea seeking protection from their families who were opposing their marriage because of the age gap between them. They said that they are in grave danger from their relatives due to which they have clamoured for protection from the Mohali's senior superintendent of police, reported The Print,
The man is 36-year-old while the girl is 17-year-old. The couple pleaded that they fell in love about two years ago and solemnised their marriage according to Muslim rituals on January 21.
The counsel representing petitioners made their case by stating that, in Muslim Law, puberty and majority are just the same things and it's assumed that a person attains majority at the age of 15.
The counsel further said that any Muslim who has attained puberty is free to marry according to their choice and guardian has no right to intervene.
After hearing the argument, the judge said that the court had taken cognisance from the judgements in the past. The marriage between the Muslim girl comes under Muslim Law. And in this case, both petitioners are of marriageable age.
The judge added that the matter, of course, is not only in respect to the validity of marriage but to get hold of the issue of protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners which is enshrined in Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
The judge directed Mohali SSP to take every necessary action as per the law concerning protection to their life and liberty. She also said that the court cannot disregard their fundamental rights only because they got married against the wishes of their family members.