Muslim ‘Minor’ Girl’s Marriage Annulled, Sent to Shelter Home in Ayodhya; SC Agrees to Hear Her Plea

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Supreme Court of India

She has told the top court that she has attained puberty and as per Mohammedan Law (Shariah law) she has right to marry a person of her choice.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI— The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear the plea of a 16-year-old Muslim girl who challenged the Allahabad High Court order upholding a trial court judgement which nullified her marriage on the grounds of her age and sent her to a shelter home in Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh.

As per her medical records, the girl is 16 years old and has attained puberty. However, on the grounds of her being below 18 years, the minimum legal marriageable age, a trial court in June this year nullified her marriage and sent her to a shelter home till she attains the age of 18 years. She challenged the trial court order in the Allahabad High Court which in July upheld the trial court order.

The Supreme Court will examine if a Muslim minor girl who attained puberty be allowed to live with a person of her choice.

As per a PTI report, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed her plea against the trial court’s order observing that since she was a “minor” her case would be dealt with in accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 and as she did not want to join her parents, the order sending her to the shelter home was correct.

Appearing for the girl, senior lawyer Dushyant Parashar told the top court that as per Mohammedan Law, once a female attains the age of puberty, that is 15 years, she is independent to take decisions for her life and is competent to marry any one of her own choice.

The girl also told the top court that her nikah (marriage) is in accordance with the Mohammedan Law and claimed that the HC failed to appreciate this fact.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi has agreed to hear her plea while issuing a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its response.

Soon after her marriage in June this year, girl’s father had lodged a police complaint alleging that his daughter was kidnapped by the man and his associates. However, the girl told the magistrate, under section 164 CrPC, that she had married the man out of her free will and wanted to stay with him.

The trial court, however, directed the authorities to send her to the child welfare committee for safe custody and protection until she attains the age of 18.

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