State Cabinet for annulling child marriages

Cops can take suo motu action against those conducting such weddings

State Cabinet for annulling child marriages

In a significant step towards preventing the practice of child marriage, the State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to accept the Justice Shivaraj V Patil committee's recommendation to declare child marriages as null and void.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, also decided to empower the police to take suo motu action against those involved in conducting child marriage and fix minimum punishment of one-year rigorous imprisonment, as recommended by the Committee, sources in the government said.

The government did not brief the media about decisions taken in the Cabinet as the model code of conduct for Legislative Council polls is in force.

The Cabinet decided to recommend to the Union government to bring in necessary amendments to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, to give effect to the committee's recommendations.

All those child marriages conducted on and after the amendment to the Act will become nullified. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, is a Central Act, the sources said.

Currently, a child marriage can be nullified only if the child complains and seeks that the marriage be declared illegal. The Justice Patil panel, therefore, recommended that the Act should be amended, declaring child marriage null and void.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to penalise the priests, the parents and the organisers of child marriage. The panel has also recommended punishment for elected representatives, including legislators, taking part in child marriages.

The State government had set up the core committee to recommend measures to be taken to prevent the practice of child marriage in the State.

Land for KIADB
The Cabinet gave its approval to a proposal to hand over 10,814 acres of the government lands located in and around industrial areas across 15 districts to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

The Board will develop those lands as industrial plots and allot them to those who want to set up industries. However, the KIADB has been directed to preserve lakes and water bodies in those places, the sources said.

The Cabinet gave its nod to allot about 25 acres of government land located at Sira taluk in Tumakuru district to 15 different religious, educational and charitable institutions, including Ramakrishna Ashrama, Arya Idiga Samaja, Balajiga Samaja, Chalavadi Sangha and Savita Samaja.

The land will be given on lease for 30 years at 10 per cent of the guidance value. Approval was given to grant 12 acres of land at Koratagere taluk in Tumakuru district to Chamundeshwari, Eshwara and Parvatanjanaiah Temple Trust. The Cabinet deferred decision on the proposed cultural policy of the State.

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