SC concern on minors'' marriages

New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Expressing concern over growingtrend of child marraiges which often get validated due tolegal lacunae, the Supreme Court today rued that evenministers and bureaucrats have been seen attending them.

"It''s in a large scale where concerned bureaucrats andministers participate," a bench comprising Justices DalveerBhandari and Deepak Verma said.

The bench made the remarks when it was pointed out thatanomalies in statutory laws and personal laws were coming inway to curb the menace of child marriage.

Advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for National Commissionfor Women, drew the bench''s attention to a Delhi High Courtjudgement which held valid a 15-year-old Muslim girl''smarriage with an elderly man on the ground that the girl hasreached the age of puberty.

She submitted if such liberty was given, the petition onthe issue would be a non-starter.

The petition has pointed out that the conflict betweenpersonal and statutory laws were coming in the way ofpreventing child marriages.

This submission prompted the bench to remark that "unlessyou have uniform civil code, these issues can''t be addressed".

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising submittedMuslim personal law was not a problem in addressing the issueas the apex court in one of its judgement has made it clearthat whenever personal law accords less right to women incomparision to the normal law, the personal laws provisionsare ignored.

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