Muslim Girl Can Marry A Person Of Her Choice After Attaining 15 Years Of Age: HC Grants Custody Of 16-Year-Old To Her Husband
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that a Muslim girl can marry a person of her choice after attaining puberty (15 years of age).
"…it has been observed that 15 years is the age of puberty of a Muslim female, and on her own willingness and consent, after attaining puberty (15 years of age) can marry a person of her choice and such a marriage would not be void in terms of Section 12 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006…", the bench of Justice Vikas Bahl observed.
The Court allowed the petition filed by a 26 year old who sought the release of his wife who is a 16 year old girl from the custody of a child care agency.
Advocate Uday Chauhan appearing for the petitioner had submitted that at the time of marriage, the said detenue was more than 16 years of age and the marriage was performed by the petitioner and the detenue out of their free will and without any pressure.
On the other hand, Munish Sharma, AAG opposed the petition and submitted that the detenue is a minor as she is less than 18 years of age and prayed that the present petition be dismissed.
The Court noted its Judgment in Yunus Khan vs. State of Haryana & Ors where it was observed that 15 years is the age of puberty of a Muslim female, and on her own willingness and consent, after attaining puberty (15 years of age) she can marry a person of her choice and such a marriage would not be void in terms of Section 12 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006.
The Court held that the law laid down in the above said judgment would apply to the facts of the present case. Therefore the Court allowed the petition and directed the child care agency to hand over the custody of the detenue to the petitioner.
In June this year, another Bench of the same High Court had held that a Muslim girl can marry at the age of 16 as per Mohammedan Law. On a plea by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) challenging the said order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Supreme Court has agreed to examine whether a minor Muslim girl can marry a person of her choice.
The Delhi High Court had recently held that the age of puberty as per Muslim law is not applicable to the POCSO Act while refusing to quash an FIR for the rape of a 16-year-old.
The Uttarakhand High Court had recently sought a reply from the state and the central governments on a PIL praying that marriages of girls under 18 years of age, permitted under the Muslim law, must be declared illegal.
Cause Title- Javed v. State of Haryana & Ors.
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