The Punjab and Haryana High Court granted protection to a Muslim girl who married a Hindu man, given the fact that she is of marriageable age under Muslim Personal Law. The couple (a Hindu man and a Muslim woman) who solemnised their marriage in a Hindu temple and sought the protection of their life and liberty filed a protection petition before Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill.
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Nargis (17 years) and her husband (33 years) petitioned the High Court for protection, arguing that a Muslim boy or Muslim girl who has reached puberty is free to marry whomever he or she wishes and that the guardian has no right to interfere.
The court cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the petitioners’ concerns must be addressed. The petitioners cannot be denied their fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution simply because they married against their family’s wishes.
If a person does not convert to the religion of the spouse, inter-religious marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act.
Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, recently introduced the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021. The bill aimed to raise the marriageable age for girls to 21 years old, the same as for boys. In addition, when introducing the bill, the minister stated that it would apply to every girl, regardless of any religion.