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Minor Muslim girl free to marry anyone; Punjab and Haryana court

Punjab and Haryana high court has passed an order which said that a minor Muslim girl (who is less than 18 years of age and has attained puberty) is free to marry anyone as per the Muslim Personal Law. The court in its judgment referred to Article 195 of Muslim Personal Law saying that a Muslim girl on attaining the age of puberty was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice.

Law said, “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 his consent.”

The order was passed by Justice Alka Sarin. Justice passed order while hearing a petition moved by a Muslim couple from Punjab. The judge observed that a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law. The petitioners got married on January 21, 2021.  36-year-old man and 17-year-old girl married as per Muslim ceremonies. But the marriage was against families’ wishes. And in such circumstance the petitioners cannot be deprived of their fundamental rights as well. Therefore the court observed that the girl more than 17 years of age can enter into a marriage with a person of her choice.

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