uniform age of marriage

UNIFORM AGE OF MARRIAGE

The Union government has indicated its inclination towards reconsideration of a uniform marriage by setting up a committee. The current minimum age for women to legally marry is 18 and for men it’s 21. The difference of age factor to legalize the marriage that exists in the society is somewhere a promotional element of inequality amongst the genders. The issue is now under evolving observation of the enlisted committee to be reformatted.

LAWS GOVERNING MARRIAGES IN INDIA
Marriages are considered one of those subjects which are often governed by personal laws based on religions.  Scope of legality of marriages with regard to personal laws, the purview of the main religions can be observed as; 
1) The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 Applicable on Hindus, provides the same Concept of minimum age which is also generally adopted in the nation. 18 for women and 21 for men. 
2) Mohammedan personal laws– Applicable on Islam believers, the minimum age to marry for individuals that follow Mohammedan laws is 14 or at the attainment of puberty. 
Recently Hon’ble Karnataka HC in the case of Rahul @ Nayaz pasha v State of Karnataka (2021) ruled that personal laws will not override POCSO and child marriage restraint act as it provides a diluted idea of license for the offenders to commit similar offences on children below the age of 18 and such marriages even if allowed in personal laws can never disturb the scope of protection that general penal code and special enactments consider in respect of minors. 
3) The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 – The aforementioned laws also alike in nature to Hindu laws prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men respectively.

PROPOSED BENEFITS OF REFORMS
Increasing the minimum age of marriage for females can benefit the society with various factors inclusive of;
• Labour inputs to economy– Increase in legal age will encourage the females to complete higher studies which as an outcome can consequently provide measures to economically input labour strength in various fields impacting the socio changes.
• Decrease in Maternity problems– By increasing the age combined with inspiration to continue study, awareness environment will be created which can lower the possibilities of crisis during pregnancy and health.
• Eradicating the stereotype– Legal aspects hold the potential to change the scenario for women that rigidly exist in the society where women are considered more mature than men since a very young age to justify the mindset of the patriarchal outlook.

CONCLUSION
Recently, on a plea made to the Hon’ble Supreme court, a bench leaf by the Chief justice of India had issue a notice to the Union over the matter of “secure gender justice, gender equality, and dignity of women”.

The plea so mentioned included the Considerate measures that must be adopted for the nuetrality of age for which the arguments were that such legal sanction infringes not only the fundamental rights of equality as is enshrined under Article 14 but also protection against discrimination Article 15 and dignity of life Article 21 and liberty of citizens and goes against the nation’s commitment under the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW). A uniformity of age at this point of time can be proved to be a factor that can quickly transform the percentage of issues such as literacy, safety, awareness, independency and social stand for the females and hence can be a considerably beneficial step towards developed and dominance free society.

Aishwarya Says:

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