A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved in Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking common minimum age of marriage for men and women. The petition was filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyay.
The petitioner said that the different minimum age of marriage is against gender equality and gender justice guaranteed under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India it was also against the dignity of women, which is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution.
"It was clearly discriminatory that the 'minimum age' limit for marriage for men and women is different in India. While men in India are permitted to get married only at the age of 21, women are allowed to get married when they are 18," the PIL stated.
According to the petitioner, the statutory provisions under Section 60(1) of the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872; Section 3(1)(c) of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936; Section 4(c) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954; Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 were responsible for the discriminatory bar.
The above legislations contained conditions regarding eligibility for marriage under the relevant Act, to the effect that the intended bride be at least eighteen years of age and the intended groom be at least twenty-one years of age, the PIL submitted.
Therefore, the plea sought to declare the minimum age of 18 years for the marriage to be" void and inoperative".
( With inputs from ANI )