Rajasthan government amends Marriage Act, allows registration of child marriages
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria believes that registering child marriage in Rajasthan is entirely wrong; read more details.
In a shocking development, Rajasthan Assembly on Friday passed an Amendment Bill amid the uproar of child marriages. The Assembly passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill, 2021 by voice to amend the 2009 Act on mandatory registration of marriage within 30 days.
As per the new legislation, the opposition BJP has claimed that they will legitimise child marriages. As per the new bill, the bride and groom can now get the marriage registered in the registrar office, where they have been residing for more than 30 days after the union.The bill sought that a marriage between a bride who has not completed 18 years and a groom who has not completed 21 years can now be registered by the parents or guardian within 30 days of the marriage, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal. BJP leaders in the Assembly opposed the bill and raised questions over the provision of the registration of child marriage under the bill.
Dhariwal said that the bill does not state that child marriage is valid. It only says that marriage registration is essential. It simply does not imply that child marriage is valid. He further stated that the District Collector can still take strict action against child marriages. Dhariwal also stated that the amendment is not a contradiction to the central law. The Supreme Court also has ruled that marriage registration is compulsory; hence the bill includes child marriage.
During the heated debate, BJP leader and leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said that the law is entirely wrong. The legislators who have passed the law have not seen it. Section 8 of the bill violates the present law in the force against child marriages. If the Assembly justifies child marriages like this, it will create a wrong impression of the people defaming The Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha, said Legislative Assembly Member Sanyam Lodha.
Highlighting the bill's provisions, Dhariwal said that now the registration can be done at the District marriage Registration Officer and Additional District Marriage Registration Officer and Block Marriage Registration Officer Level.The officers will monitor and review the work of registration, making it easier for the public. The Parliament Affairs Minister stated that the marriage registration certificate is a legal document, and without this, the widows cannot get the benefits under many schemes. With compulsory registration, either party or both parties in the marriage will be able to apply for marriage registration and get the certificate, stated Dhariwal.