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Minor Girl Has Right To Live With Husband Even When Below 18 Years, Can Marry Without Parents’ Consent On Attaining Puberty: Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court observed that as per Muslim law minor girl can marry without parents’ consent on attaining puberty, has right to live with husband even when below 18 yrs. This was seen in the case of FIJA & ANR. v. State (W.P.(CRL) 763/2022) and the judgement was presided over by the Coram of HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JASMEET SINGH.

Facts of the Case-

A Muslim couple got married in March this year as per Muslim rites and rituals. The parents of the girl opposed the marriage and registered an FIR under sec. 363 of IPC against the husband. Subsequently sec. 376 and sec. 6 of POCSO act were added. According to the girl, she was regularly beaten by her parents and had eloped because of the same and married the boy out of her own free will. The parent of girl tried to forcibly marry her to someone else even though she was in love with the petitioner.

As per the status report filed by the State, the girl was only 15 years and 5 months on the date of the marriage. It was also found out that that the couple had sexual intercourse and the couple was expecting a child together.

Judgement-

The high court observed that as per Muslim law minor girl can marry without parents’ consent on attaining puberty, has right to live with husband even when below 18 yrs. It said- “It is thus clear that as per Mohammedan Law girl who had attained the age of puberty could marry without consent of her parents and had right to reside with her husband even when she was less than 18 years of age and thus otherwise minor girl.”

Furthermore the court observed that POCSO Act will not be attracted to the present case as it is not a case of sexual exploitation but a case where the couple was in love, got married according to the Muslim laws, and thereafter, had physical relationships. “The object of the POCSO Act states that the Act is aimed to secure the tender age of the children and ensure they are not abused and their childhood and youth are protected against exploitation. It is not customary law specific but the aim is to protect the children below the children below the age of 18 years from sexual abuse.” -The court said.

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Judgement reviewed by Utkarsh Sahu

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