Home / News / India /  Rajasthan govt amends Marriage Act, allows registration of child marriages

Rajasthan government on Friday passed a new law which the opposition has claimed will legitimise child marriages. CM Ashok Gehlot's government passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 by voice vote to amend a 2009 Act, with the opposition staging a walkout from the assembly.

Rajasthan's new marriage bill says that the bride and groom can apply for registration of marriage to the marriage registration officer of the place where they have been residing for more than 30 days.

The marriage between the bridegroom who has not completed 21 years and the bride who has not completed 18 years of age could be registered by the parents or guardians within the 30 days of the marriage, the bill stated.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party has opposed the law. State's Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said, "I think this law is completely wrong. The legislators who have passed it have not seen it. Section 8 of the bill violates the present law in force against the child marriages".

On the contrary, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Shanti Kumar Dhariwal explained that "The bill does not say that child marriage is valid. The bill says that after marriage, only registration is necessary. It does not imply that child marriage is valid. If the District Collector wants, he or she can still take action against the child marriages".

Highlighting the provision of the bill, Dhariwal said that now registration can be done at the level of District Marriage Registration Officer as well as Additional District Marriage Registration Officer and Block Marriage Registration Officer level.

"These officers will be able to monitor and review the work of registration. This will make it easier for the general public to register. This will bring simplicity and transparency to the work," said Dhariwal.

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