The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a girl who was married off before reaching legal age must declare the marriage 'void' once she reaches the age of 18.
As per the court's division bench, if a woman does not declare her marriage void after turning 18, she can only seek separation through a divorce decision. The judgement was made by a bench consisting of Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Arun Monga while hearing a case filed by a couple seeking to dissolve their marriage.
On June 22, 2020, the couple filed a petition in the Ludhiana family court. The couple, who married with consent, was denied a divorce by the family court since the woman was a juvenile at the time of the marriage. The HC cited section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, which states that a woman must be 18 years old or older for her marriage to be recognised as legally genuine, reported The Times Of India.
Divorce Case Filed In Court
The family court ruled that the couple's marriage was invalid because the woman was underage at the time of the ceremony. The woman was 17 years, 6 months, and 8 days old when she married, The High Court also stated that, for all intents and purposes, no petition was filed for the woman's marriage to be declared void.
Only if the girl marries before the age of 15 can a petition for nullity be filed under Sector 13(2)(iv). If this is the case, the daughter has until the age of 18 to submit a divorce petition. The pair married in February 2009 when the girl was still a juvenile, according to sources, and had a child in 2010. The couple had filed a divorce case in the Ludhiana court to dissolve their marriage. Following the court's dismissal of their appeal, they appealed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where they were given a divorce by mutual consent.
New Amendment In Child Marriage
The bride and groom can file for marriage registration to the marriage registration officer of the place where they have been dwelling for more than 30 days, according to Rajasthan's new amended marriage bill. The Rajasthan government passed a new law on Friday, which the opposition claims will legalise child marriages. With the opposition staging a walkout from the legislature, CM Ashok Gehlot's government passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 by voice vote, amending a 2009 Act.