Child marriages stunt personality of victims, says district judge

District and Sessions Judge Shivashankar Amarannavar has said that child marriages constitute offence not only in terms of human rights violation, but also in terms of psychological and physical impact on the victims.

Speaking after inaugurating the workshop the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 for the judges here on Saturday, the judge said that according to census report of 2001 around 1.5 million girls in India were married at the age of 15. Twenty per cent of these girls, - nearly three lakh - conceive before attaining adulthood. The child marriages violate human rights  and stunt the personality development of victims. The offspring born out of the premature motherhood, will not have fully developed body organs.

Premature pregnancy is another risk of child marriages, as it poses threat to the lives of both the mother and the child. He added that persons convicted for child marriage face rigorous imprisonment which extends up to two years or a fine of Rs one lakh.

The judge added the cases pertaining to the child marriages should disposed off immediately keeping in view the repercussions on the psyche of both the boy and girl involved in the marriage. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act was introduced in 1929 and the amendments were made in 2006. The amendments came into force on November 1, 2011.

Lamenting that child marriages snatch the rights of the children, the judge said that children were compelled to marry when they were supposed to play and study.

They are pushed into the cruelty of managing the family affairs in the age when they themselves are dependent on others owing to their tender age.

He said the physiology of the body before adulthood does not support the natural cycle that takes place following the marriages. This results in health complications, particularly in girls, he added.

Stating that there were laws to help the victims to come out of the early wedlock, the judge said that the legal fraternity should work on the various laws and help the people who are victimized. He said the judges and advocates are also play a major role in curbing child marriages.

Asserting that awareness is the need of the hour, the judge said that mass awareness should be created to protect children against the social evil, he added.

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