Monday, April 22, 2024

Supreme Court directs Centre to file status report on steps taken to implement Prohibition of Child Marriage Act

The Supreme Court has ordered the Central government to file a status report regarding steps taken to implement the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to file an updated status report regarding the data collected from various states bearing on the nature and extent of child marriages; steps taken to implement the provisions of the Prohibition of Child marriage Act 2006, and the policy formulated by the Union government to effectuate the purpose of the Act.

The Counsel for the petitioner apprised the Apex Court that the child marriage system still continued in many areas of the country. 

Additional Solicitor General and Senior Advocate Madhavi Divan responded by saying that a bill, which raised the marriageable age of a woman to 21 years from the current 18, was pending before the Standing Committee from 2021. 

The top court of the country, however, looked unimpressed and said that this would still not address the issue of implementation of the Act. 

The Bench directed the Centre to engage with the State governments in order to apprise the court on compliance by the States over the provision of Section 16(3) for the appointment of a Child Marriage Prohibition Officer. 

The Apex Court further said that the affidavit should also clarify whether the officer was appointed or given other multifarious duties and listed the matter for hearing in July, 2023.

(Case title: Society for Enlightenment and Voluntary Action and Anr vs UoI and Ors)


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