The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice in an appeal filed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) challenging a recent ruling of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which held that a Muslim girl can enter a valid marriage once she attains puberty.
Since the case was called out after 4 pm, due to paucity of time, SFG Tushar Mehta informed the CJI DY Chandrachud-led bench that the matter required a proper hearing.
On this, the bench also consisting of Justices Pardiwala and PS Narasimha ordered that the matter be kept for March on a non-miscellaneous day.
"Issue Notice, make it returnable in March. Keep it on a non-miscellaneous day,” said the bench.
In October last year, a division bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka had agreed to consider whether a Muslim girl can enter into a valid marriage once she attains the age of puberty.
Granting protection to a 16-year-old Muslim girl who married a 21-year-old Muslim man against her family's wishes, Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi of the Punjab High Court had observed that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law and the girl, being over 16 years of age, was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of NCPCR, had told the top court that he wanted to draw its attention towards the violation of penal provisions under POCSO Act and other relevant laws by the impugned judgement.
"I am not against the protection granted to the girl. But stay that part of order,” SG Mehta urged the bench.
He had also referred to a recent decision of the Delhi High Court wherein it was held that under Muslim Law a young girl who has attained puberty has the right to marry without parental approval and the right to live with her husband, even if she is under the age of 18.
After discussing among themselves, the top court division bench judges had observed that the issue required consideration. Accordingly, the bench appointed senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao as an amicus curiae in the matter.
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