Referring to the various literature on Muslim marriages and judgments of the different courts, Punjab and Haryana High Court has noted that a Muslim girl who is less than the age of 18 years and has attained the puberty is at liberty to marry anyone under Muslim Personal Laws.
While referring to Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’s book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law’, the bench of Justice Alka Sarin held that a Muslim girl on attaining the age of puberty is competent to enter a contract of marriage with a person of her choice.
“Every Mohomedan (Muslim) of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage. Lunatics and minors who have not attained puberty may be validly contracted in marriage by their respective guardians. A marriage of a Mohomedan who is (of) sound mind and has attained puberty is void if it is brought about without a consent,” said Article 195 of the Muslim Personal Law.
As per the book, “Puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of fifteen years.”
Justice Alka Sarin was hearing a petition filed by a 36-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl. The couple got married on January 21, 2021 as per the Muslim rites. The couple sought HC directions for the protection of their life and liberty from their relatives who are against their marriage
The petitioners contented that as per Muslim Personal Laws, puberty and majority are one and the same and there is a presumption that a person attains majority at the age of 15. They also argued that a person, whether boy or a girl, who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry anyone of his/her choice without the guardian’s right to interfere.
The court held that a couple cannot be deprived from their fundamental rights, just because they have married against the wish of their family members.