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Muslim girl can marry at will in 16 years, SC to hear HC order

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a petition filed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) challenging the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The bench issued notice in the matter and appointed senior advocates as amicus curiae to assist in the investigation. Also, the matter has been fixed for hearing on November 7. The High Court has ordered that a minor Muslim girl can marry a person of her choice after attaining puberty at the age of 16. On Monday, a bench of Supreme Court Justice SK Kaul and Justice Abhay S Oka issued notice and appointed senior advocate Rajashekhar Rao as amicus curiae in the matter to assist the court. “The matter needs to be considered,” the bench said.

In fact, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the NCPCR, said it was a “serious issue” and sought a stay on the comments in the judgment. The top court said that it will look into the issue and has fixed the matter for hearing on November 7.

Why was the High Court ruled

Significantly, the single-judge bench of the High Court had passed the order on June 13 on a petition by a Muslim couple from Pathankot, who had approached the court seeking protection. The High Court had said that the issue to be considered in the matter was not with respect to the validity of the marriage, but to allay the apprehension of danger to the life and liberty of the petitioners.

What was in the order

The High Court had said, “The court cannot shut its eyes to the fact that the apprehensions of the petitioners need to be allayed. Merely because the petitioners have married against the wishes of their family members, they cannot be deprived of the fundamental rights envisaged in the Constitution of India.”