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HC questions Islamic minor marriage
October 16, 2006 22:41 IST
Raising this social issue the Delhi High Court directed the Centre to explain the validity of marriage between two minors under the Islamic Law.
A Division Bench of Justice R S Sodhi and Justice P K Bhasin issued the directions after the local police produced the "minor couple" before it on a habeas corpus petition moved by the girl's mother.
While the petitioner's counsel insisted that the marriage was void as both the boy and girl were minors, Government pleader Rajat Katyal said that under the Muslim law there was a presumption of marriage when both the parties agree to the marriage.
"The government's counsel has furnished us with a literature of the principles of Muslim law from where we find that the girl on attaining puberty is competent to marry of her own will and we would like proper assistance from Additional Solicitor General."
The court passed the order while dealing with the unusual case in which the duo -- Nazreen and Arif were produced before the Bench by police in pursuant of the court's earlier direction.
In her brief deposition Nazreen submitted that she was of 19 years and insisted she married Arif of her volition and wanted to stay with him.
Nazareen stuck to her guns about her age despite Justice Sodhi pointing out that school records clearly indicating that she was 17 years.
Following this the Bench observed, "it would be appropriate to have an ossification test conducted on Nazreen and directed the police to take her for the same and file the report by October 30."
Nazreen's mother had earlier filed the petition seeking production of her minor daughter who she said was under the illegal custody of Arif.
She had complained that police failed to take any action against her despite lodging a complain as early as on July 13.
The petitioner's counsel had sought the court's intervention to prosecute Arif for kidnap and falsely inducing her into a marriage on the ground that marriage between two minors was void in law.
The counsel claimed that not only Nazreen but even Arif was a minor and pointed out that his remand to the juvenile remand home after his arrest buttressed their charge.