Application of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act does is secular in nature- Punjab & Haryana HC
The Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that application of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 is a secular legislation and even though Muslim Personal Law permits marriage upon attaining the age of puberty, the secular law would not create any distinction on the basis of religion.
In the instant case, the petitioner had married a Muslim boy. The petitioner was aged above 18 years, however, the boy, though a minor, had attained marriageable age according to Muslim Personal Law.
The bench relied upon the precedent set in the case of Hardev Singh v Harpreet Kaur and stated that if the woman is above the marriageable age as prescribed in the Child Marriage Act, then no offence can be made out in terms of this Act.
The bench allowed the protection petition and stated that if upon verification of age certificates, it is revealed that the age of girl is below 18 years, then action under the provisions of Child Marriage Act may be taken.
In this case, the bench examined the age certificates furnished by the parties and found that the girl is “just above the age of 18 years.” The bench held that the life and liberty of petitioners would be protected even though the boy’s age does not meet the legally marriageable age limit provided in the Child Marriage Act, 2006.
The bench discussed about various judgements passed by different High Courts which regarding rift between Indian Law and personal laws. This conflict has been present, however, it aims at providing justice to the right-intended parties.