NEW DELHI :
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court by advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay seeking abolition of the different minimum age for marriage of men and women.
The petitioner calls the distinction unscientific and a 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, thus contravening the fundamental principles of gender equality, gender justice and dignity of women and breaches Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India," it adds.
The petitioner claims that more than 125 countries in the world have a uniform age of marriage for men and women. Noting this fact, the National Human Rights Commission, pursuant to the National Conference on Child Marriage held in New Delhi on 29-30 August 2018, recommended that India follow suit and bring uniformity in the minimum age limits.
The petition will be most likely listed in the coming week.