Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment Bill 2014)

Why was the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment Bill 2014) Introduced?

The Act is attended to serve as a deterrent and to remove the gender disparity in age by restraining Child Marriage and punish the accused. Major causes which led to the act are:

  • Poverty, illiteracy, social and cultural practices (contrary to human rights) are cited as one of the reasons for the prevalence of such act.
  • An early marriage leads to early conception which ultimately affects the health of teenage girls
  • The leading cause of death among young girls age 15-18 is because of early pregnancy

Child Definition: Anyone under the age of 18 years is a child

Prohibition: A male above eighteen years of age, contracting marriage with a child is illegal.

  • Punishment: The offender shall be punishable with:
  1. Simple imprisonment which may extend to six months
  2. Fine of fifty thousand rupees
  3. or both (fine and Imprisonment)

Solemnizing a Child Marriage: Whoever solemnizes (performs, conducts or directs) a child marriage commits an offense.

  • Punishment:  Solemnizing child marriage shall be punishable with:                             
  1. Imprisonment which may extend to six months
  2. Fine of fifty thousand rupees
  3. Or both (fine and Imprisonment)  

Parent or Guardians Concerned in a Child Marriage: The permission of parents and guardians to solemnize the unlawful child marriage or any negligence or failure to prevent it from happening amounts to an offense.

  • Punishment: Punishment for the abovementioned offense ranges from:
  1. Imprisonment which may extend to six months
  2. Fine of fifty thousand rupees
  3. Or both (fine and Imprisonment)  
  4. No woman shall be imprisoned under this offense