Ruckus in Raj Assembly after Bill passed to register child marriages

Ruckus in Raj Assembly after Bill passed to register child marriages
Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha (Rajasthan legislative Assembly) (Credit: Source: IANS

Jaipur, Sep 17 (IANS) After a heated debate, the Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed in the Rajasthan Assembly on Friday, which makes it compulsory to register all child marriages in the state within 30 days of the marriage.

The passing of the Bill created a ruckus in the Assembly as the opposition members questioned the government on the need to bring in the Bill.

The Leader of Opposition, Gulab Chand Kataria, said that before enacting a law, it should be first studied at length. This Bill looks like pushing for marriages of under-age children, he said, adding that a provision has been made in the Bill that the marriage will be registered after information is given within 30 days.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal said that there are important reasons behind introducing the Bill.

After the introduction of the Registration of Marriages Act 2009, only the district officer was allowed to register marriages. Now, the additional district officer and the block officer have also been added to the list, the minister said.

"Registration of child marriages does not mean giving them legitimacy. Action will be taken against those who found invloved with child marriages, even after they are registered," he said.

The Deputy Leader of Opposition, Rajendra Singh Rathod, also opposed the Bill and said that it should be withdrawn as it is against the Hindu Marriage Act and Child Marriage Act 2006.

The opposition then staged a walkout, questioning the purpose of the Bill when child marriage remains illegal. But the government argued that the Bill has been brought on the basis of a Supreme Court order.

Dhariwal said that the Supreme Court in its 2006 judgment in the Seema vs Ashwini Kumar case had directed that registration of all types of marriages is mandatory.

Registration is not meant to legitimise the marriage, Dhariwal said, adding that if a minor is married, he/she will have the right to annul it as soon as he turns adult.