Power of the Court to Stop Child Marriage

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

When the Court receives credible information that a child marriage has been arranged or is about to take place, it can issue an order prohibiting the persons from conducting and organizing such marriages. 

 

The accused person can apply to the Court to either revoke this order or even alter it. The Court can even do this on its own motion. 

 

Any child marriage that takes place after the order has been issued will not be a valid marriage

 

Circumstances of Court Intervention

The Court can intervene: 

  • On its own, or
  • On the basis of a complaint filed by a Child Marriage Prohibition Officer or any Non Governmental Organization (NGO), or
  • In some cases, such as on days of Akshaya Tritiya which is an auspicious time for marriages, the Court can also act as the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer and have all the powers of this Prohibition Officer to prevent child marriages from taking place, or 
  • Any person who has personal knowledge about a child marriage which may take place. 

Notice Issued by Court

Before passing this order the Court must issue a notice to the person accused under this law to give an opportunity to defend themselves.

 

However, in urgent cases, the Court has the power to issue an interim order (before the final order)  stopping the marriage, without giving notice to the person(s) accused.

 

Punishment 

If a temporary order has been issued against you and you do not follow it, you will be punished with jail time of up to two years and/or fine up to one lakh rupees

 

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Under Christian law, a minor is defined as someone below the age of 21 years, and is not a widow or widower.

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Prohibition of Child Marriage

The law prohibits people from performing child marriages and lays down punishments for those involved in conducting the marriage. 

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Any two persons who are Christians can marry under Christian law. However, there are some minimum age requirements and prohibited marriages.

Child Marriage Prohibition Officers

Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CPMO) are appointed by the State governments to curb issues of child marriages in each State.

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