PoliticsBill to raise the marriage age of girls to...

Bill to raise the marriage age of girls to 21 years and Electoral Reform Bill to be introduced in Parliament next week: Government

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New Delhi: The government on Friday announced in Parliament that a bill to raise the minimum legal age of marriage for girls from 18 years to 21 years at par with men and the Electoral Reform Bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha next week.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in the Lok Sabha made this announcement while giving information about the government business to be held in the House next week.

He said that the Child Marriage (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2021 and the Election Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 will be discussed and passed after being introduced next week.

Giving information to this effect in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan said that after the Child Marriage (Prevention) Amendment Bill is introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha, it will be placed in the Upper House for discussion and passing.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 December approved amendments to the Child Marriage (Prevention) Act, 2006. Under this amendment, there is a provision to increase the minimum legal age of marriage for girls from 18 years to 21 years at par with men.

Under the existing legal provision, the minimum age of marriage is fixed at 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls.

According to Hindustan Times, the decision is based on the recommendation of a task force headed by former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitley.

Jaitley had said, “If we talk about gender equality and gender empowerment in every field, we cannot leave marriage as it is a very strange message that a girl is fit for marriage at the age of 18. Maybe, which reduces his chances of going to college, whereas men have up to 21 years to be ready for life and earning.’

Jaitley said the task force had submitted its recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and NITI Aayog in December last year.

The committee included NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul, educationists Najma Akhtar, Vasudha Kamat and Deepti Shah, besides secretaries of higher education, school education, health, women and child development, legislative departments, etc.

According to the report, if the bill is passed by Parliament, the amended minimum age for women will be amended in other laws including the 1954 Special Marriage Act, 1955 Hindu Marriage Act, 1872 Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1936 Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. May need it.

Along with this, the laws of inheritance, maintenance and divorce may also need to be amended.

Jaitley said the panel did this assessment with young people and found that almost everyone agreed. He said, ‘We should give a girl an opportunity to earn and it should be equal to a man and she cannot be equal in 18 years when a man has 21 years to do so.’

At the same time, on December 15, the Union Cabinet had also approved the Electoral Reform Bill, which includes a proposal to allow the Election Commission to voluntarily link Aadhaar with the voter list.

According to the bill approved by the cabinet, the election law will be made gender neutral for military voters.

Under the provisions of the current electoral law, the wife of a serviceman would be eligible to register as a military voter, but the husband of a female serviceman would not. But the situation will change when this proposed bill is approved by the Parliament.

The Election Commission had asked the Law Ministry to change the term ‘wife’ to ‘spouse’ in the provisions relating to military voters in the Representation of the People Act.

Under this, in another provision, it has been said to allow youth to register as voters on four dates every year. Currently, those who turn 18 on or before January 1 are allowed to register as a voter.

The Election Commission of India has been advocating for several ‘cut off dates’ to allow eligible people to register as voters.

The commission had told the government that due to the ‘cut off date’ of January 1, many youths were deprived of the exercise of voter list. With only one ‘cut-off date’, persons who completed 18 years of age on January 2 could not register and had to wait for the next year to register.

The Ministry of Law and Justice recently told a committee of Parliament that it proposes to amend Section 14B of the Representation of the People Act, so that every year there are four ‘cut-off dates’ for registration: January 1, April 1, July and to be included in October.

It is noteworthy that the current winter session of Parliament is scheduled to last till December 23 and a total of four sittings are scheduled after today.

(with input from news agency language)

Categories: Politics, Special

Tagged as: 21 years, Child Marriage Act 2006, Election Commission, Electoral Reform Bill, Hindu Marriage Act 1955, legal age of Marriage, Marriage, Narendra Modi, News, Special Marriage Act and personal laws, The Wire Hindi, Union cabinet, voters, women

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