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Parliament okays bill to make child marriages void
December 19, 2006 18:10 IST
The Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill seeking to make child marriages null and void with the Lok Sabha passing the measure by a voice vote.
The Prohibition of Child Marriages Prevention Bill, 2006, passed by the Rajya Sabha on December 14, envisaged appointment of Child Marriage Prevention Officers by states.
Replying to a debate on the bill, Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chaudhary said the bill sought to establish a framework on restraining solemnisation of child marriages.
In case of such marriages being declared null and void, the legislation provides that the husband or if he is minor at the time of child marriage, his guardian would pay maintenance to the minor girl till her remarriage.
Chaudhary said every child marriage, whether solemnised before or after the commencement of this Act, would be voidable at the option of the contracting party.
She said it was a collective national shame that about one crore girl children were killed during the past 20 years.
The minister said the nation could not take a leap forward if 72 percent of its population comprising women and children lagged behind.