Adult marrying minor girl liable for punishment: High Court - ECAS Punjab

Adult marrying minor girl liable for punishment: High Court

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20

An adult 'groom' who marries a minor may soon find himself tying the knot with trouble. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that he was liable for punishment under the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

Asserting that FIRs were not being registered in such matters, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi called for detailed information by way of an affidavit by the state of Punjab. It has been asked to specify whether instructions have been issued regarding registration of cases against a male adult contracting child marriage, and other persons involved in conducting, directing, abetting, attending or participating in it.

The state has also been asked to specify the number of complaints received this year for registration of such cases and how many cases were actually registered on such complaints in Punjab.

Since FIRs under Section 9 or other provisions of the 2006 Act were not being registered in Haryana and Chandigarh, a notice was issued to the state and the UT as well. They were also asked to furnish the information to the court by way of an affidavit. Justice Tyagi was hearing a petition filed against the state of Punjab and other respondents through counsel Sumeet S Sandhu.

Justice Tyagi asserted the Act was "secular" and applied to all irrespective of religion. It was intended to curb the menace/social evil of child marriage and the provisions were required to be strictly implemented "so that the same did not remain dead letter and the object of enactment thereof was achieved".

Justice Tyagi said efficiency of administration of criminal justice was dependent solely on efficacy of its judicial and executive process and the majesty of rule of law was seriously undermined by defiance/noncompliance of statutory provisions and court orders — deliberate or otherwise.

"It is, therefore, of utmost importance that statutory provisions enacted/amended as well as directions issued by the courts from time to time are complied in letter and spirit by the police which do not have any discretion of not complying with the same," Justice Tyagi asserted. The case will now come up for hearing in November first week.

from The Tribune

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