21 Dec 2021 8:41 AM GMT
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani introduced in the Lok Sabha today the "Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021", which seeks to increase the age of marriage for women to 21 years across all religions.The Minister said that the bill will amend the provisions of the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, Muslim...
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani introduced in the Lok Sabha today the "Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021", which seeks to increase the age of marriage for women to 21 years across all religions.
The Minister said that the bill will amend the provisions of the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937, Special Marriage Act 1954, Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Foreign Marriage Act 1969 in relation to the age of parties to the marriage.
Opposition members raised an objection that the bill has been introduced on short notice. Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the matter was included only in the supplementary list and that the Government has hastily introduced the bill without proper consultation. He demanded that the Bill be referred to Standing Committee. TMC MP Sougata Roy and RSP MP NK Premachandran also voiced similar objections.
Indian Union Muslim League MP ET Muhammed Basheer said that the Bill is "unwanted, unconstitutional and a violation of Article 25". He said that the bill was an "attack on personal laws".
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said that the bill was a violation of Article 19. If one can vote at the age of 18 years, why can't a person marry, he asked. 18 years is the age of consent for sex under POCSO Act, and raising the marriage age is unreasonable, he added.
DMK MP Kanimozhi and NCP MP Supriya Sule demanded that the Bill be referred to Standing Committee. They criticized the Government for introducing bills on short notice.
"This is the second or third time they aggressively bring the bill. Nobody from the opposition is consulted. I condemn this practice. All stakeholders must be consulted", Sule said.
"There are people who support the Bill. There is a lot of opposition too. Such an important Bill has to be the Standing Committee or Select Committee and they have to seek opinion of the civil society and bring the Bill", Kanimozhi said.
In reply, Minister Irani said that the age of marriage should be uniform across all religions and termed the bill a "historic step" to give equal rights to women and empower them.
"On behalf of the Government, I would request that this (Bill) be sent to the Standing Committee", the Minister said.
After the short discussion, the House allowed the introduction of the Bill in a voice-vote
The Union Cabinet had last week cleared the proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. This move would bring the legal age of marriage for women at par with men which is 21 years. The move would require a law to be tabled in Parliament to amend personal laws governing age of marriage such as the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Special Marriage Act and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Also Read : Explained: How Centre's Bill Seeks To Raise Age Of Marriage For Women As 21 Years Uniformly Across All Religions
http://184.108.40.206/lob/17/VII/SLOB21-12-2021.pdf pic.twitter.com/5JO2qcnmMr— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) December 21, 2021
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