Supreme Court to interact with minor Muslim ‘bride’, her husband, father

New Delhi, Sep 23, 2019-

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Muslim minor girl, whose marriage was nullified by the Allahabad High Court on account of her age, her ‘husband’ and the father to be present in the court on October 1 for an interaction.

The Bench, headed by Justice N.V. Ramana, also asked the registry to request appearance of a doctor, preferably a female psychiatrist, from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at the next hearing. The doctor will interact with the girl.

The girl has stated in her plea that as per the Islamic Law, once a female attains the age of puberty, that’s 15 years, she is independent to take decisions in her life and is competent to marry anyone of her choice.

The court issued the direction while hearing the plea of the 16-year-old Muslim girl, who has been ordered to stay in a shelter home for women in UP.

Representing UP, Senior advocate Aishwarya Bhati submitted the girl had been shifted to a children’s home in Lucknow. The shifting to children’s home had came after the court’s interference, the Bench observed.

The court also slammed the UP government for not instructing its lawyers on her appeal and asked it to take proper care of the girl.

The Bench noted that lawyers representing the UP government were not properly instructed and told the state Home Secretary to ensure that.

The Home Secretary “expressed regret” and assured the court that he would ensure that the government counsel were properly instructed and the government’s affidavit would be filed.

Last week, the apex court had summoned the UP Home Secretary to clarify the state government’s stand on her petition in which she has questioned the high court’s decision to nullify her marriage on account of her age.

The court also said “non-responsive attitude” of the state compelled it to pass an order seeking his presence.

Her plea was dismissed by the high court observing that since she was a “minor” her case would be dealt with in accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 and as she didn’t want to join her parents, the order sending her to the shelter home was correct.  (Agency)

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