Marriage of a minor girl is voidable: HC

Marriage of a minor girl is voidable: HC

‘Such a marriage is not a valid marriage in the strict sense but it is not invalid’, a full Bench comprising Justices K N Basha, T Sudanthiram and S Nagamuthu said, adding, an adult male in a child marriage would not be the natural guardian of the minor girl.

As per provision 6(c) of Hindu Minority and Guardianship, the husband of a minor girl was the natural guardian and this provision, however, stood repealed by the Prohibition of PCM Act, the Bench said.

The father of a minor girl had filed a Habeas Corpus Petition seeking a direction to the Tiruvallur Town police to secure his 17-year-old daughter from the illegal custody of a person and hand the girl over to him.

When the matter had come up before a Division Bench earlier, the girl in an affidavit said that she was in love with the man and had  married him in July this year.

After hearing rival submissions, the Bench directed the girl be kept in a children’s home run by the government and referred the matter to a full bench to decide whether the marriage of a minor girl could be said to be valid and the custody of the girl be given to her husband. The Division Bench had also sought a ruling from the full bench whether a minor could be said to have attained the age of discretion and thereby walk away from lawful guardianship of her parents.

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