March 26, 2023

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She is an aspiring journalist in the process of learning and unlearning many things. Always up for discussions on everything from popular culture to politics.
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While he is a massive sports fanatic, his interest also lies in mainstream news and nitpicking trending and less talked about everyday issues.
Digital Journalist
She is an aspiring journalist in the process of learning and unlearning many things. Always up for discussions on everything from popular culture to politics.
Hearing a petition by a minor girl and a man belonging to the Muslim community, who had eloped and married in Bihar as per the religious customs, Justice Jasmeet Singh ruled that the minor has the right to get married under the Muslim law without parental consent as she had attained puberty.
The girl was a little above 15 years old when she eloped, following which her parents filed charges of kidnapping against the man. The married couple had then approached the court with a petition to seek protection. Remarks made by Justice Singh during the trial have been making rounds online, with netizens expressing their clash of opinions.
As per the status report submitted to the court, the girl was at the age of 15 years and five months in March 2022 when she decided to elope with her now husband. The couple decided to elope after the girl’s parents had opposed their relationship. They got married in Bihar as per their religious rituals, and she is now pregnant with their child.
She was found by the police on April 27th after her parents had filed a case against her husband on the grounds of kidnapping her. Under the Child Welfare Committee’s (CWC) directions, she was then taken to the Nirmal Chhaya Complex in Hari Nagar. After this, the couple sought protection from the court and proceeded with a petition to ensure that they didn’t get separated.
The case was heard by a bench headed by Justice Singh, who observed that the girl had attained the age of puberty and could marry any individual with consent. Having attained puberty, she also no longer required consent from her parents in order to marry the person of her choice. Quoting the Mohammedan Law, the judge said that the Muslim law permits a girl the right to marry and reside with her husband even when she is less than 18 years of age.
Justice Singh also compared the case with a previous ruling he had made in regard to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act violation. An order passed by him on July 6th stated that the POCSO was in place for the protection of children below 18 years of age from sexual abuse and exploitation and that it would apply even to the Muslim law.
Clarifying the current ruling in regard to this, he said that both cases are different in nature. The July 6th case was one of sexual exploitation of a minor where there was no marriage between the victim and accused. In fact, the prosecutor was able to prove it as a clear case of manipulation as the accused had refused to marry her after sexually exploiting her.
Meanwhile, the current case establishes a consenting marriage between both parties, which then eliminates the idea of “exploitation”. In a case where “the petitioners were in love, got married according to the Muslim law, and thereafter, had physical relationships”, the man cannot be charged under the POCSO Act. The case was ruled in the petitioner’s favour on the grounds that both petitioners cannot be denied each other’s company after being lawfully wedded. Furthermore, reasoning the ruling, he said that separating the couple could be traumatic to the petitioner who is carrying a child.
“The aim of the state here is to protect the best interest of petitioner no.1”, said the Justice, as quoted by The Hindu. He then allowed the girl to return to her husband’s company if she desired to. Adding to it, he said that the state is in no place to separate the petitioner’s wilfully consented happy marriage, and anyone who attempts to do so can be charged with the encroachment of personal space by the state.
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