New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding Uniform Minimum Age of Marriage has been moved in Delhi High Court, said news agency ANI on Wednesday. The petition stated that the different minimum age of marriage for men (21) and women (18) is against gender equality, gender justice and dignity of women.
Last year, the Law Commission had suggested that 18 years should be the minimum legal age for men and women alike to get married. Further, the insistence on recognising different ages of marriage between consenting adults must be abolished, noted the commission.
“If a universal age for the majority is recognised, and that grants all citizens the right to choose their governments, surely, they must then be also considered capable of choosing their spouses,” stated the panel in its consultation paper on ‘Reform of Family Law’.
According to the Indian Majority Act of 1875, the legal minimum age for marriage for both men and women alike must be 18 years of age. The consultation paper added, “The difference in age for husband and wife has no basis in law as spouses entering into a marriage are by all means equals and their partnership must also be of that between equals.”
Commenting on the age difference in marriage, the law panel noted that the minimum age of 21 for men and 18 for women “simply contributes to the stereotype that wives must be younger than their husbands”.