Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNews ReportsJharkhand HC says Muslim girls can marry after attaining 15 years of age, adds...

Jharkhand HC says Muslim girls can marry after attaining 15 years of age, adds ‘Muslim marriage is governed by personal law’

While several high courts have ruled that Muslim girls can marry after attaining 15 years of age as per Muslim Personal Law, Karnataka and Kerala high courts recently rules that such marriages are invalid under POCSO and it overrides personal law

On Thursday, the Jharkhand High Court referred to the Muslim Personal Law and ruled that a Muslim girl who has attained 15 years of age or above has the liberty to marry the person of her choice without any interference from their guardians. The Court said this while it was hearing a criminal case lodged against a Muslim person who married a 15-year-old girl from within the community.

According to the reports, the Court dismissed the proceeding and ordered the cancellation of the FIR which was filed by the girl’s father. The father in the FIR had accused Mohammed Sonu (24) of persuading his daughter to marry him. The girl belongs to the Jugsalai area of Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur. Sonu then challenged the FIR and approached the Jharkhand High Court.

However, during the hearing, the father of the girl stated that he was no more opposed to the marriage. He also thanked Almighty for arranging a suitable match for his daughter and said that he had filed FIR against Mohammed Sonu due to some misunderstanding. He added that his daughter had found the right match by the grace of Allah and that there was no other perfect match than the petitioner.

“In view of this judgment, is clear that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by Muslim Personal Law. As per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’, the girl is approximately 15 years of age and was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice,” the Court said in its order.

“The petitioner is stated to be more than 24 years of age. Thus, both the petitioner and the girl attained marriageable age as defined by Muslim Personal Law. Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides for the protection of life and personal liberty and further lays down that no person shall be deprived of his or her life and personal liberty except as per the procedure established by law,” Justice Dwivedi added.

The Court referred to Yunus Khan v. State of Haryana & Ors., 2014 (3) RCR (Criminal) 518, wherein it was held that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by personal law.

This comes after a similar judgment was passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court reaffirming that a Muslim girl who reaches the age of 15 can marry whoever she wants, and such a marriage would not violate the Prohibition of Child Marriage (PCM) Act. Notably, according to the personal laws in Islam (Sharia), the age of attaining puberty is 15. The High Court also reassured that Muslim girls would continue to be governed by Islamic personal laws. Several other High Courts have passed the same verdict in several other cases earlier.

However, two contrasting verdicts were delivered by two high courts, ruling that having sex with minors is still an offence under POCSO. Last month, Karnataka High Court ruled that POCSO Act overrides Personal Law, and declared the marriage of a minor Muslim girl invalid as it violates the POCSO act. The High Court said that POCSO is a Special Act and it overrides the personal law which is based on Sharia Law.

Just three weeks later, Kerala High Court passed a similar judgement, saying that a marriage between Muslims under personal law cannot be excluded from the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The court said that if one of the partners in the marriage is a minor, offences under POCSO Act will apply. The validity of the marriage would not be considered in such cases.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -