Madras High Court in M. Janaki Vs. K. Vairamuthu, has clarified that Child marriages do not automatically become void. Division Bench comprising of Justices S. Manikumar and C.T. Selvam made this observation while hearing an appeal against a Family court order rejecting a divorce petition, holding that it was a child marriage and hence void.
The court observed “The conditions for a Hindu marriage are informed in Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Section 5(3) places requirement that the bridegroom should have been completed aged of 21 years and the bride 18 years at the time of marriage. Noteworthy it is that the breach of such condition does not render the marriage void under Section 11 or voidable under Section 12.”
The Bench observed that the Family Court was under the mistaken impression of a marriage involving a child being void. It also is seen that the other reasons for rejection reflect a most presumptuous view on considerations, which are matters for trial. We may also observe that a presumption of marriage may arise even on proof of prolonged cohabitation, the Bench added.
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Read the Judgment here.