Law & Governance

War Of Words Between Opposition, Govt Over New Rajasthan Law On Child Marriage

BP World Bureau | Sep 20 2021 09:07:52 AM
Image credits: Twitter

JAIPUR, RAJASTHAN: Rajasthan state assembly passed a bill that can lead to the registration of child marriages in the state. 

The assembly passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which amends the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009.

This led to a war of words between the ruling Congress government and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

BJP said that the law validates the social evil of child marriage. The Congress-led government has said there was nothing new but a technical change made to an older piece of legislation.

As per the new law, 'if the bride is under 18 and the bridegroom is under 21,' their parents must register the marriage within 30 days of the event.

2009 law said that the age criterion was 21 years for both men and women. 

Read: Rajasthan Passes Bill To Register Child Marriage 

Rajendra Rathore, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly, voiced against the bill. 

"This will increase and give validation to what is a social evil. How can the government do it?" he said. 

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's government said that the law is being misinterpreted by the opposition. Entering the ritual in a public record makes it easier to act against child marriages since documentary evidence is now made available. District collectors have the power to stop child marriages. 

Latest amendment safeguards the minors' interests, especially in cases where the girl is widowed.