The Supreme Court today agreed to examine a plea of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order that a minor Muslim girl can marry a person of her choice.

A Bench of Justice S K Kaul and Justice Abhay S Oka issued notice and appointed Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao as amicus curiae in the matter to assist the Court.

"This matter needs to be considered," the Bench said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the NCPCR, submitted that this is a "serious issue" and sought a stay of the observations in the judgment.

The Court said it will examine the issue and posted the matter for hearing on November 7.

The single-judge bench of High Court on June 13 had passed the order on a plea by a Pathankot-based Muslim couple who had approached the court for protection.

The High Court had said the issue for consideration in the case was not with regard to the validity of the marriage but to address the apprehension raised by the petitioners of danger to their life and liberty.

It had directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Pathankot, to decide the representation of the petitioners and take necessary action as per law.

The court cannot shut its eyes to the fact that the apprehension of the petitioners needs to be addressed. Merely because the petitioners have got married against the wishes of their family members, they cannot possibly be deprived of the fundamental rights as envisaged in the Constitution of India, the High Court had said.

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 rape of a 16 year old.

The 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.

With PTI inputs