The poor implementation of the Child Marriage Prevention Act, 2006 across Maharashtra has invited criticism from the Public Accounts Committee, whose report was tabled in the State Assembly in Mumbai. According to the PAC report, even though the act came into force in 2007, the rules were notified in September 2008.
Also, Child Marriage Prevention Officers (CMPO) in rural areas were appointed after six years. Even though 45.20 per cent population is urban in the state, till 2014 CMPOs were not appointed. As per the Act, the state government should have issued notification granting powers of the police officers to the CMPOs. But, till September 2014, such notification was not issued, it said.
CMPOs are appointed to stop child marriages, create awareness against the custom, counselling and assist the government in legal cases on child marriages, the report tabled in the House yesterday added. As per the information provided by Additional Director Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH), there were 378 and 627 married girls under the age of 10 and 14 respectively.
Similarly, under this central government programme, there were 11,389 married girls in the age group of 15 and 11,839 married girls in the age group of 19. However, the state government records say between 2010-13, there were only 45 cases of child marriage.