Row Over Age in Muslim Marriages: After Triple Talaq, Halala and Hijab Controversy, there is a ruckus regarding the age of marriage of Muslim girls. The dispute regarding the age of marriage prescribed in Muslim Personal Law has reached the Supreme Court. A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court will hear the matter on November 7.
In fact, on Monday (September 17), the Supreme Court agreed to hear the petition of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) ie Child Commission challenging a decision of the Punjab-Haryana High Court.
The Punjab-Haryana High Court has upheld the marriage of a 16-year-old girl as per the Muslim Personal Law. In the last hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had described the issue as important before the bench in the apex court. The bench has appointed Advocate Rajasekhar Rao as amicus curiae i.e. amicus curiae in the matter. The top court said that the decision of the Punjab-Haryana High Court will affect the Child Marriage Act and the POCSO Act. Now all eyes are on the next hearing of the Supreme Court.
What was the matter that came in Punjab-Haryana High Court
In June this year, a newly married Muslim couple had sought protection from the Punjab-Haryana High Court. Actually, in this marriage, the age of the girl was 16 years and the age of the boy was 21 years. The couple had said in the petition that their family is against this marriage, so they are seeking protection from the honorable court.
On June 13, a Single Bench of Justice JS Bedi in the High Court said that the marriage of Muslim girls is according to the Muslim Personal Law, in which the marriageable age of girls has been given as 15 years. The court said that the displeasure of the family cannot become a hindrance in the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, so the couple will be given protection.
What is screw?
According to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, marriage under the age of 18 is a legal offense. Such cases are considered as child marriage. People doing such marriages are also considered criminals.
In India, girls below the age of 18 are considered minors. Sexual intercourse with minor girls is an offense under the POCSO Act 2012. This is the reason that the screw is stuck in the 16-year-old girl’s marriage case and the apex court has also had to appoint a amicus curiae to solve it.
If the husband of a Muslim woman breaks the relationship by saying talaq thrice in one go, then it is called triple talaq. Cases of triple talaq were also reported through letters, SMS and phone calls. It is now illegal in India.
There was a long debate in the country regarding these matters. After all, on 19 September 2018, the triple talaq law i.e. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act was implemented in India. The law came into force after the seal of former President Ram Nath Kovind.
debate on nikah halala
Halala i.e. Nikah Halal is not yet banned in India, but hearing is going on in the Supreme Court regarding it. Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law Application Act 1937 recognizes nikah halala and polygamy. Along with this, experts believe that Nikah Halala violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
In order to return the triple talaq victim to her husband again, she has to undergo Nikah Halala. In this, the woman marries another man, even has a physical relationship with him and then divorces him and marries her ex-husband. This whole process is called Nikah Halala. However, it is also said that when a woman marries another man, she cannot force him to divorce.
In March this year, the Karnataka High Court upheld the school-college dress code rule and refused to accept the hijab as an essential part of Islam. The court had said that the girl students will have to follow the rules of dress code of the school-college. The decision of the Karnataka High Court was challenged in the Supreme Court. Case 24 petitions were filed.
On October 13, the matter was heard but a two-judge bench gave a divided verdict. Justice Hemant Gupta upheld the decision of the Karnataka High Court. At the same time, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia set aside the decision of the Karnataka High Court. Now a big bench of the Supreme Court will hear the matter. Till then the decision of the Karnataka High Court will remain in force.
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