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SC points discover to switch petitions from Excessive Courts filed for the uniform marriage age for women and men

The Supreme Court, while addressing a petition, issued notice to transfer pending petitions filed before Delhi High Court and Rajasthan High Court which are dealing with the issue of uniform marriage age for men and women.

The petitioner, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, sought for transfer of pending petitions from High Court to Supreme Court.

The counsel representing the petitioner stated that the plea has been filed in order to avoid multiplicity of litigations, conflicting interpretations of Articles 14, 15 and 21, and of the judgments entailing gender justice and equality.

The petitioner stated that the difference in their marriage age is backed with no reasonable explanation than the patriarchal stereotypes. The plea further stated that such a distinction violates the equality ensured to women and goes way against the global trends.

The petitioner also cited few sections of personal laws like Section 5(iii) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 3(1)© of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 in order to highlight the discriminatory nature of the age of marriage.

The plea included India’s obligation to provide equal rights to women, on ground of it being a signatory to CEDAW [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women]. By virtue of this Convention, India is bound to take measures in order to eradicate differences created by customs, stereotypes and all other practices.

The petitioner stated that existence of such practices reinforces discrimination, arbitrariness and violates rights secured under Articles 14, 15 and 21.

The plea further highlighted the unequal powers in the hands of husband and wife, and thus adversely affects the marital relationship.

With a view to maintain equality, the petitioner filed this plea so that all contentions are adjudicated by the apex court through a common case.

The petitioner also sought alternative relief from the Central Government and prayed that they must take necessary measures to do away with the anomalies present in the prescribed minimum age of marriage.

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