New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and Law Commission of India in a plea that seeks uniform marriage age for men and women.
The notice was issued by a division bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and C. Hari Shankar.
The plea, filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyay, calls the distinction in the marriage age unscientific and patriarchal stereotype.
“This petition, filed in public interest under Article 226, challenges a blatant, ongoing form of discrimination against women. That is the discriminatory minimum age limit for marriage for men and women in India. While men in India are permitted to get married at the age of 21, women are allowed to get married when they are 18. This distinction is based on patriarchal stereotypes, has no scientific backing, perpetrates de jure and de facto inequality against women, and goes completely against the global trends," the petition reads.
This differential bar discriminates against women, contravening fundamental principles of gender equality, gender justice and dignity of women and breaches Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, it added.
The petitioner said more than 125 countries in the world have a uniform age of marriage for men and women. The National Human Rights Commission, pursuant to the National Conference on Child Marriage held in New Delhi in August 2018, recommended that India follow suit.