New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The Supreme Court today sought the Centre’s response on a petition claiming that provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, have not been implemented effectively in the country.

A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta issued notice to the Centre and asked it to file its reply within four weeks.

“The issue raised in this writ petition is with regard to the implementation of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The contention of the petitioners is that the Act is not being implemented in letter and spirit. Issue notice to the Union of India returnable in four weeks,” the bench said.

The petitioners, Society for Enlightenment and Voluntary Action and others, have claimed in the plea that provisions of the Act were not being implemented effectively by the Centre and states which has led to rampant child marriages in the country.

The plea, while referring to various reports, has said that the 2011 census report had revealed that child marriage was “still rampant, with almost one in every three women having been married off while she is still under the age of 18 years”.

It has claimed that due to non-enforcement of the 2006 Act stringently, the governments have failed to protect the girl child since child marriage was violative of provisions of the Constitution.

The plea has said that continued practice of child marriage has breached international conventions which have been ratified by India.

It has also sought direction to all the states and union territories as well as Director General of Police (DGPs) to ensure that steps are taken to prevent child marriages.

It has sought court’s direction for appointing child marriage prohibition officers in every districts.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.