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Supreme Court agrees to examine whether a 15 year old Muslim girl is competent to enter contract of marriage

The Supreme Court on Monday has given assent on examining the question of whether a Muslim girl who has attained the age of 15 years is competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice.

A bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice AS Oka have also appointed Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao as Amicus Curiae in the matter.

The Court was hearing against an order of June 13 which had ruled that as per Muslim personal law, a Muslim girl over the age of 15 years is competent to enter into a contract of marriage with the person of her choice.

The plea in the case was filed by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

The High Court held that the law, as laid down in various judgments cited above, is clear that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law.

It further said that as per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla, states that every Mahomedan of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage’.

The explanation to that Article provides that puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of fifteen years.

While the hearing was going on, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a stay on the relevant paragraphs of the order which laid down the law.

The Court has also proceeded to appoint Amicus to assist them and listed the case for further hearing on November 7.

Few days back the  Delhi High Court had also held that as per the Muslim law, a minor girl who has attained puberty can marry without the consent of her parents and has the right to reside with her husband.

The Delhi High Court had also said that in such cases, physical intercourse happens after the wedlock, will not attract offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).

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