Child marriage to become non-bailable offence | Fusion - WeRIndia

Child marriage to become non-bailable offence

Child marriage to become non-bailable offence

One of the biggest and most persistent concerns in Indian society is child marriage.

Children are supposed to live their early years full of freedom, amusement, and learning, but in India, many of these children are forced into the adult life of marriage at very young ages.

This is especially prevalent in young girls, who are married off in childhood far more often than young boys.

In 2006, the government enacted the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, which states that a marriage between a man above 18 years of age and a woman below 18 years of age is punishable with either a fine of up to ₹100,000, an imprisonment of up to 2 years, or both.

However, although child marriage is a non-bailable offense and it was recognized as “voidable” by the act, it was also still recognized as valid.

Now, this will no longer be the case, since child marriages are continuing to occur throughout many parts of the country.

In 2016, the National Crime Records Bureau stated reports of 326 child marriages, and officials suspect that the actual number is much higher than this.

Child marriage is only reported when the girl or a concerned party is able to speak out, and even after it is reported, the marriage is still not considered null and void.

Recognizing the gaping flaws in this act, the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development (WCD) has recently made a decision to amend this law.

Now, child marriage will be considered invalid from the outset, and it will not be allowed in any circumstances whatsoever.

The minister of the WCD, Maneka Gandhi, has approved the proposal, and people in the law ministry are currently voting on it.

After that, the law will be voted on in the cabinet. The WCD is making significant steps in preventing child marriage, since the marriage will now be null and void from the outset and the offenders will also be imprisoned.

Image Credit:- Damgararavishankar / CC BY-SA

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