October 12, 2021 2:45:12 am
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday said his government would ask Governor Kalraj Mishra to return the amendment Bill passed by the Assembly on mandatory registration of marriages.
Last month, the Rajasthan Assembly had passed The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to amend the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009.
The Opposition had attacked the government over the amendment to Section 8 of the 2009 Act, saying the new Bill promotes child marriages. The 2021 amendment to Section 8 states that parents or guardians of a bridegroom who is under 21 and a bride who is under 18, “shall be responsible to submit the memorandum, in such manner, as may be prescribed, within a period of thirty days from the date of solemnisation of the marriage to the Registrar.”
The 2009 Act had stated the same, with the only difference being that the age mentioned was 21 years for both boys and girls.
“There is a controversy in Rajasthan. A law on marriage registration was passed in the Assembly. There was a Supreme Court order that all the marriages should be registered (which we followed),” Gehlot said at an event in Jaipur to mark International Day of the Girl Child.
“If someone is married off as a child and then they become adults and have children, and if there is property or legacy of the parents or grandparents, then there shouldn’t be an obstruction. So the SC had said that be it anyone who gets married, the registration is important. In line with that sentiment, a law was passed here and a nationwide controversy erupted that this law will promote child marriage,” the CM said.
Saying the Bill wasn’t a matter of prestige for his government, he said, “We are getting it examined by the law department and will request the Governor to send the law we have passed back to us. And we’ll get it examined and after that, we’ll move it forward, if needed. We don’t have an issue; this was a Supreme Court judgment,” he said, adding, “The government’s resolution is there shouldn’t be child marriage in Rajasthan at any cost. And we won’t compromise at any cost, I assure you.”
Civil society members, women’s organisations and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had written to the CM, and petitions were filed in the High Court and Supreme Court over the amendment. Subsequently, Raj Bhawan had told The Indian Express that it is still “examining” the Bill and has not sent it forward.
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