To prevent child marriage, “The Anti-Child Marriage Act was enacted in 2006 under this Act. Females under 18 and males under 21 will be considered children.
If you marry them, it is a crime under the law; The law provides for imprisonment for 2 years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh for all those involved in the marriage.
There are various gaps in this law. This law refers to three types of marriages (voidable, void and void ab initio).
Pursuant to Section 3 of the Act, marriage to a child under the age of 18 before or after the enactment of this Act is voidable if the person who has a child at the time of the marriage wishes to cohabit with him.
Otherwise the child can be petitioned in the District Court within 2 years of the age of eighteen to declare the marriage void.
Under section 12, the marriage is void if the child is lured away from the legal guardian of the marriage or is fraudulently, forcibly married, sold for marriage or abducted in the name of marriage and engaged in sex work.
(Void). Under Section 14, an interim or final injunction is obtained in court under section 13 for child marriage and the marriage is not valid if the child marriage takes place contrary to that restriction. (Void ab initio).
Under this Act, 326 cases were registered in 2016 (including Tamil Nadu – 55, Karnataka – 51, West Bengal – 41, Assam – 23, Andhra and Telangana per capita – 19) and in 2017, 395 cases (Karnataka – 65, Assam – 58, Tamil Nadu – 55). Telangana – 25 including West Bengal – 49) and 501 cases in 2018 (including Assam – 88, Karnataka – 73, West Bengal – 70, Tamil Nadu – 67, Bihar – 35). (Source: National Criminal Archive).
The difference between the hill and the pond is obvious compared to the number of reported cases of child marriages taking place.
Most cases are unregistered. Therefore, this law does not completely prohibit child marriage.
Furthermore, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO Act 2012), which was introduced in 2012, makes it a crime to have intercourse with children under the age of 18, even if they have consented.
Last October 2017, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment. According to the judgment, it is an offense under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code to have sexual intercourse with children under the age of 18 while still a wife.
The exemption given under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code has been revoked. No changes were made to the Child Marriage Prohibition Act in accordance with these laws.