Rajasthan government recalls controversial marriage registration bill amid concern over child marriages
The Rajasthan Compulsory Registrations of Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021 makes it mandatory to register all marriages even if a girl is under 18 and a boy is under 21 by the guardians.
Jaipur: After facing severe backlash and criticism by the opposition BJP, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and social activists, the Rajasthan government has decided to recall the recently passed ‘Rajasthan Compulsory Marriage Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021’ and get it reviewed by experts.
During an event to celebrate the International Day of Girl Child on Monday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the government would request the governor to send back the Bill to amend the Rajasthan Compulsory Marriage Act 2009 for a review by experts.
Governor Kalraj Mishra had already put the bill on hold last week for further legal examination which had provision of mandatory registration of all marriages.
The state's Marriages Amendment Bill 2021 says that all marriages including those of minors must be registered. In the case of minors, the bill says, their parents or guardians must register the marriages.
Social activists and civil society members argued the new provision was retrograde because it effectively legalised child marriage.
Breaking his silence over the Bill, Gehlot in his address at the event, ‘Hoslon Ki Udaan’, clarified, “The Supreme Court had given an order to register all marriages to safeguard the legal rights of children born out of wedlock and widows.
After several objections were raised, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the government is working with a "strong will" for the complete eradication of child marriage in the state. "We have a strong resolve that child marriage should not take place in the state and the government will not make any compromise in this regard," he tweeted.
Gehlot said the bill was brought after a Supreme Court directive which says all marriages should be registered. "However, we request the Governor to return the bill due to the incorrect notion over child marriages."
"After legal consultation from lawyers, it will be considered whether to take the bill forward or not," he added, while addressing a programme on International Girl Child Day.