Muslim Personal Law Board to move SC against crackdown on child marriages In Assam

Guwahati: The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has taken the decision to ask the Supreme Court to take action in response to the current issue of child marriages in Assam.

Guwahati High Court senior advocate and committee member, Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, claimed that the choice was made at a board meeting on Sunday in Lucknow.

He said, “I raised the issue and there was a detailed discussion on this.”

The Supreme Court is currently hearing evidence in a dispute pertaining to the minimum marriageable age for Muslim women.

Choudhury said, “According to Muslim personal law, a girl belonging to the Muslim community can get married after she attains the age of 15. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana in a verdict said that a Muslim girl can marry a man of her choice once she is 15 years old. These types of marriages are not illegal even as per the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.”

However, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights appealed the High Court’s decision to the Supreme Court.

The senior advocate said that the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board would submit a request to join the lawsuit.

“Although this case is not connected with Assam, both matters are related to the fixing of the minimum age of females for getting married. Therefore, we would like to be a party to it,” he further added.

Moreover, Choudhury said that when arresting persons for child marriage, the Assam government did not follow the law.

He said, “Child marriage must be stopped, but before taking any such actions, the government should first spread awareness against it.”

It should be noted that the police have arrested 2,258 persons, including Muslim and Hindu priests who performed such marriages, as part of the campaign against child marriage in the state up until last week.

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