The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressing concern over the Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, saying it “legitimises” child marriages, one week after the child rights body raised the matter with the governor of the state.
NCPCR asked the state government to review the new law as its enactment would have a serious impact on the physical, psychological, and social state of minors.
In its letter, the child rights body said Section 8 of the amendment Bill provides for registration of child marriages through marriage registration officers of the place where they have been residing for more than 30 days. It has asked the government to “reconsider the bill and review it” in accordance with the law and welfare of children in the state.
“The bill states that the marriage between the bridegroom who has not completed 21 years and the bride who has not completed 18 years of age could be registered by the parents or guardians within 30 days of the marriage,” the NCPCR said in its letter on Friday, adding that the move “legitimises” child marriages in Rajasthan.
The Rajasthan assembly last week passed the Bill amending a 2009 Act. The bill has led to a political storm, with the opposition BJP contesting its contents, while the state government has maintained that registering a child marriage does not give it legal status.