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WCD Ministry initiates consultation to discuss uniform age for marriage after PIL filed in Delhi HC


ANI General News
The central government on Wednesday told Delhi High Court that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has initiated the consultation process with stakeholders to discuss the uniform age for marriage for both men and women.
The submission was made before a division bench of Justices DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar hearing public interest litigation (PIL) seeking uniform age for marriage.
The counsel, appearing for the center, informed the court that while an affidavit has not been filed, the instructions from the Ministry of Women and Child Development states that they have initiated the consultation process with the stakeholders.
"The Ministry is in the process of consultation with the stakeholders in the matter for amendment in the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006," WCD Ministry said in a short response.
The counsel also sought that the Ministry of Law and Justice be made a party to the matter as many acts have to be reformed.
"As the prayer relates to marriage laws as provided under 'The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872', 'The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936,' 'The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955', 'The Special Marriage Act, 1954,' which fall within the purview of Ministry of law and Justice as per the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, the CGSC may be requested to seek comments from Ministry of Law an; and Justice so that a unified response could be prepared on behalf of the Government of India," the ministry added.
The bench slated the matter for next hearing on February 19, 2020.
The court had earlier issued notices to the central government and Law Commission over the matter.
Senior advocate Vibha Dutta Makhija had appeared for petitioner and BJP leader advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who had moved the PIL in the court on August 14 this year.
"It was clearly discriminatory that the 'minimum age' limit for marriage for men and women is different in India. While men in India are permitted to get married only at the age of 21, women are allowed to get married when they are 18," the PIL contended.
The petition said that the age distinction is based on patriarchal stereotypes, has no scientific backing, perpetrates de jure and de facto inequality against women, and goes completely against the global trends.
Therefore, the plea seeks to declare the minimum age of 18 years for the marriage to be" void and inoperative".

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 1:42 PM IST

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