Jun 20 2022
New Delhi: An important observation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has come to the fore on the issue of the right age of marriage for Muslim girls. The court has held that a Muslim girl becomes eligible for marriage at the age of 16. In such a situation, if she wants, she can marry with the boy of her choice. According to media reports, the bench of Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi made this remark while hearing the petition of a Muslim couple. In fact, a 21-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl had filed a petition in the High Court seeking protection.
The petitioners had said in their petition in the court that both of them fell in love with each other some time ago and they decided to get married. Ultimately, both of them got married on 8 June 2022 according to Muslim customs. Due to the opposition of the family members, he approached the court. The petitioners said in the petition that according to the Muslim law, both of them have become adults and they have the right of marriage to each other, in which the family cannot interfere. In their petition, the Muslim couple told that they are in danger of life and in this regard they have also informed the SSP of Pathankot. However, no action has been taken so far. While hearing the case, Justice Bedi said, “The law is clear that the marriage of a Muslim girl has taken place in accordance with the Muslim Personal Law.” In such a situation, according to Article 195 of the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law’ by Dinshah Fardoonji Mulla, the petitioner girl is competent to marry a young man of her choice. The boy’s age is also 21.
Thus both the petitioners are eligible for marriage as per the Muslim Personal Law. Along with this, the court while directing the Pathankot SSP said that the demand of the petitioners cannot be ignored in this case. Merely because they performed Nikah against the family, cannot deprive them of their rights as also stated in the Constitution of India. Let us tell you that according to the law in India, the minimum age of a girl for marriage has been fixed at 18 years, however, Muslims are not included in this, because their decisions are made according to Islamic law. According to Indian law, marrying at the age of 16 is an offense under the Child Marriage Act, but it is exempt for Muslims. At the same time, the central government is considering increasing the minimum age of marriage for girls from 18 years to 21 years.