Punjab & Haryana HC: Muslim Girls Can Marry At 16

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Monday, while hearing a plea filed by a Muslim couple, stated that the Muslim girls can marry at the age of 16, and are free to marry a person of their own choice. The plea was filed by a Pathankot based couple aged 16 and 21 years, seeking protection from their families. 

The single bench, headed by justice Jasjit S Bedi, stated, “The Court cannot shut its eyes to the fact that the apprehension of the petitioners needs to be addressed. Merely because the petitioners got married against the wishes of their family members, they can’t be deprived of their fundamental rights as envisaged in the Indian Constitution ” 

While citing the Islamic Shariah law, justice Bedi stated, “As per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law’ by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla, the petitioner No. 2 (girl) being over 16 years of age is competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice. Petitioner No.1 (boy) is stated to be more than 21 years of age. Thus, both the petitioners are of marriageable age as envisaged by Muslim Personal Law.” 

The couple said that they got married on June 8, 2022, as per all Muslim ceremonies but their families allegedly opposed their marriage and threatened them, due to which they filed the plea in Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking protection. The court has directed the Pathankot SSP to act as per the law and grant proper protection to the couple.

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