Home » News » 17-Year-Old Muslim Girl Is At Liberty To Marry Person Of Her Choice: Punjab and Haryana High Court Allowed Protection To Inter-Faith Couple

Punjab and Haryana High Court recently held that A Muslim girl is free to marry anyone of her choice once she attains puberty. The court allowed police protection to a 17-year-old Muslim girl who married a 33-year old Hindu man against the wishes of her family.

Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill made the following observation while mentioning that the girl is of marriageable age under Muslim Marriage Laws.

The High Court bench noted, “In view of the decisions cited above, the law is clear that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law. As per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’, petitioner No.1 being 17 years of age, is competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice. Petitioner No.2 is stated to be about 33 years of age. Thus, petitioner No.1 is of marriageable age as envisaged by Muslim Personal Law.”

The bench added that as per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’, Every Mahomedan of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage and Puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of fifteen years.

The Court cannot shut its eyes to the fact that the apprehension of the petitioners needs to be addressed. Merely because the petitioners have got married against the wishes of their family members, they cannot possibly be deprived of the fundamental rights as envisaged in the Constitution of India,” noted the bench.

17-year-old Nargis and her husband had sought police protection and submitted that a Muslim boy or Muslim girl, who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry anyone he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere.

In the petition, it was contended that as per the Muslim law, puberty and majority are one and the same, and there is a presumption that a person attains majority at the age of 15 years and since, in the instant case both, the boy and girl are above the age of 15, thus, they have validly married each other and are seeking protection.

Legal Marriage Age in India

In India, the legal age for marriage in India for women and men is 18 years and 21 years respectively. This legal marriage age is governed under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and Special Marriage Act, 1954.

However, this is not the case with Muslim marriages in India. As per Muslim marriage laws, an adult has the right to marry by their own free will. A Muslim person can enter into a marriage contract after attaining puberty (after 15 years of age).

For performing a Muslim marriage in India, these are the conditions

  • Couple must profess Islam.
  • Should Be Age of Puberty
  • Offer and acceptance in presence of two witnesses
  • Dower and Mehar
  • Absence of prohibited relationship

On December 15, 2021, the Union Cabinet passed the proposal to raise the age of marriage for women from 18 years to 21.

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