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Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 to apply on Muslims also: Gujarat High court

Sep 26, 2015 12:11 IST

The Gujarat High Court on 25 September 2015 ruled that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006 will also apply to a Muslim person and the act will prevail over personal laws. The ruling was made by Justice JB Pardiwala.

The ruling held that the Child Marriage Act is a Special Act and it will override the provisions of Muslim Personal Law, Hindu Marriage Act or any personal law. Justice Pardiwala also observed that sixteen years is not an age for a girl to get married.

The verdict came when the court was hearing the case of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, who married Yunush Shaikh, who is 12 years older than her. Shaikh eloped and married the girl claiming that the Child Marriage Act won't apply to him as he is governed by the Muslim Personal Law.

The High Court rejected the petitioner's argument and ordered the police to probe the case under the provisions of Child Marriage Act.

The petition was filed by the Shaikh under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to quash an FIR filed against him under Section 366 (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) and Section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) of Indian Penal Code.

He was also charged with an offence under Section 18 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006 provides for the prohibition of solemnisation of child marriages and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

This Act replaces the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 by repealing it. As per the act, the age of marriage for boys is 21 and for girls, it is 18 and any marriage of people below this age will be considered as a child marriage which is illegal, an offence and is punishable under the law.

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