June 14, 2024

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BJP Accuses Rajasthan Govt Of Legalising Child Marriage By Mandating Marriage Registration

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BJP MLAs on Saturday termed accused the Gehlot govt of ‘legalising child marriange’ after passage of Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill

Protesting the passage of ‘The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ via voice vote, BJP MLAs on Saturday termed accused the Gehlot govt of ‘legalising child marriange’. The Bill which replaces the 2009 Act on mandatory registration of marriages, will include registration of child marriages. The opposition has argued that the clause which empowers parents or guardians of underage boys and girls to register the marriage will, for all purposes, legalise child marriage. Amid a walkout by BJP MLAs on Friday, the law was passed via voice vote.

Rajasthan mandates marriage registration including child marriages

As BJP MLAs staged a walkout over the law, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said, “We made a mistake once in 2009 and now we are repeating it. You are now authorising minor kids to get married. The only restriction is that their kin have to inform within 30 days. If minor kids get married and the state gives them a certificate as per law then how is this correct?” Meanwhile, BJP MLA Ram Lal Sharma said, “This law will promote and further increase incidents like love jihad. Does the Assembly permit us to unanimously allow child marriages?”.

Not only the BJP, but several independent MLAs close to the Gehlot government are also angry and are opposing the law. Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha said, “Many people who educate their children don’t like child marriages. But if you justify child marriages, this will send a wrong marriage before the nation. The Rajasthan Assembly will be humiliated before the entire nation”. BJP is staging a massive protest against the law outside the Assembly with Rajasthan police resorting to lathi-charge.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Shakuntala Rawat defended the law saying, “On one hand, BJP has objection to this amended bill, while on the other hand BJP is opposing pastors and maulvis from issuing marriage certificate at a social level. Why are Pandits allowed to issue marriage certificate at social level then? BJP is saying that issuing marriage certificates at a social level too will increase the incidents of love jihad”. 

Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas added, “BJP has a habit of presenting the issues in a twisted manner. The whole country knows that child marriage is illegal. BJP does not want to understand the right thing”.

What does the new law state?

As per the new amendment, the government can appoint Additional District Marriage Registration Officer (DMRO) and Block MRO to register marriages in addition to the existing DMROs who were allowed to register marriages. Moreover, the new law  states that the parents or guardians of a bridegroom who is under 21 and a bride who is under 18 shall be responsible to submit the memorandum within a period of thirty days from the date of solemnisation of the marriage to the Registrar. In the 2009 act, the same clause was mentioned with the age mentioned as 21 years for both boys and girls, as per reports. The law also allows a widow or a widower, or their children, parents or kin to register their marriage within thirty days of the death.

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