Congress pushing for Rajasthan child marriage registration bill-India
Rajasthan, India – Marking the International Girl Child Day, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has withdrawn the controversial Child Marriage Registration Bill, that would have certified child marriage.
The bill contained a provision related to the registration of Child marriage. Speaking over a virtual programme to mark the day, he said, “A controversy has arisen in Rajasthan that child marriages are being registered after the Marriage Registration Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly. There is no prestige issue as far as the Bill is concerned and we are getting it checked by the legal department.”
Apparently, the bill had been submitted to be cleared in the House, where BJP leaders were seen walking out of the House. This incident took place on September 17, where there was a huge uproar in the Assembly on the Bill related to the registration of child marriage. The party, since then, has been demanding the withdrawal of this Bill from the very beginning.
It is therefore no surprise that a petition has been filed in the court against the bill.
In India, the trend of child marriage has been continuing for decades and has been deeply entrenched into the social fabric of illiterate families. The states where child marriage is prevalent (50% and above) includes Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
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Passed by the Congress party leading government in Rajasthan, the controversial bill was to amend the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. It was passed in the State Assembly, but (obviously) generated a huge controversy with the opposition party.
If passed, the bill would indirectly validate child marriages. The Congress government had defended its stance saying that the amended provisions will only streamline the registration process, without changing the status of nuptial ties of minors.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had written a letter to the Rajasthan government recently regarding this Bill. The Commission had asked to reconsider and review the provisions of the Bill. A petition has also been filed against the Bill in court. Many social activists have also opposed it. After the controversy, the Governor withheld the Bill. While addressing the media virtually, the CM has also said that, “It was the Supreme Court’s decision that it was necessary to get every marriage registered. I hope that the legal opinion that is being taken will clarify things further. It will be ensured that there is no child marriage in Rajasthan at any cost, no compromise will be done in it.”