The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Central government and sought its response on a petition seeking transfer of cases pending in different High Courts related to uniform marriage age for men and women to the apex court.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde has agreed to examine the plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
The petitioner said in order to avoid multiplicity of litigations and conflicting views, the top court should transfer petitions pending before the Delhi and Rajasthan High Courts to itself and decide them together.
"The transfer plea had been filed to secure gender justice, gender equality, and dignity of women", the petition stated.
It has sought uniform age of marriage saying that there is specific religion-based legislation which prescribe a certain age for marriage and that it is discriminatory of Article 14 and 21.
Various laws state that the minimum age for getting married should be 18 for women and 21 for men. The petition urged that the minimum age of marriage should be 21 years for all citizens.
It sought direction for the Centre to take appropriate steps to remove the anomalies in the minimum age of marriage and make it 'gender-neutral, religion-neutral and uniform for all citizens' in the spirit of the fundamental rights of equality and right to life and international conventions.
The petition stated that differential bar discriminated against women, thus contravened the fundamental principles of gender equality, gender justice, and dignity of women.
"Today, the minimum age for women is 18 as against 21 for men and this amounts to blatant discrimination against women. There no scientific backing for different ages for marriage except for the distinction based on patriarchal stereotypes perpetuating inequality against women that goes completely against the global trends," the petition added.
The petition further read that more than 125 countries in the world had a uniform age of marriage for men and women.
( With inputs from ANI )
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