PIL Filed In Delhi HC Challenging Difference In Minimum Age For Marriage For Men and Women [Read Petition]

PIL Filed In Delhi HC Challenging Difference In Minimum Age For Marriage For Men and Women [Read Petition]

A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking abolition of different minimum age for marriage for men and women. The petitioner calls the distinction 'unscientific' and a patriarchal stereotype.

According to the Petitioner, the following statutory provisions are responsible for this discriminatory bar:

  • a. Section 60(1) of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872
  • b. Section 3(1)(c) of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936;
  • c. Section 4(c) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954;
  • d. Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955;
  • e. Section 2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

The Petitioner submits in his plea that the aforementioned distinction in minimum age for marriage not only violates right to gender equality under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution but also it goes against India's obligations under CEDAW.

According to him, the distinction reinforces patriarchal stereotypes about women and goes on to cite the law laid down by the apex court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438, Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India, (2014) 11 SCC 477 to argue that such a distinction violates the right to equal social standing and perception.

In addition to this, it is also mentioned that this distinction leads to power imbalance in a matrimonial household which further aggravates social deprivation of women. The higher minimum age for men is guided by a flawed perception that the husband is the sole breadwinner of the family and hence requires higher education before marriage to make an earning for himself and his family.

Read the Petition