Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. (file photo)
Registration of child marriage (Child marriage registration bill) The controversial bill with the provision related to the Gehlot government is in preparation to be withdrawn. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Monday that he has decided to withdraw the recently passed ‘Rajasthan Compulsory Marriage Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Assembly for re-examination. Gehlot said the state government would urge the governor to return the bill for legal consultation.
The Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Assembly on September 17 itself. It also has a provision for registration of child marriages. After the controversy, this bill has been put on hold by the Governor for the time being. Now CM Gehlot has announced to get this bill back from Raj Bhavan. The BJP and rights activists had objected to a provision in the ‘Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill 2021’, which allows registration of marriages even if the bride and groom are not of legal age to tie the knot. .
What did CM Gehlot say?
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said in the virtual ceremony held on International Girl Child Day- ‘A controversy has arisen in Rajasthan that children are getting the marriage registered. The Marriage Registration Bill has been passed in the Legislative Assembly. It is not a question of prestige, we are getting it shown by the law department. The governor is requested to send the marriage registration bill back to the government. We will get it shown, we have already taken legal opinion on this. If further legal opinion comes to the contrary, we will not pursue it.
Gehlot further said in clarification – it was the decision of the Supreme Court that it is necessary to get every marriage registered. I hope that the legal opinion that is being taken will be taken further. It will be ensured that there is no child marriage in Rajasthan at any cost, no compromise will be done in it. This bill will be given to the lawmakers for study and based on their advice, it will be decided to pursue it or not. Gehlot said that it is the resolve of the government that child marriage should not take place in Rajasthan at any cost.
NCPCR had protested
In September, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had written a letter to the Rajasthan government regarding this bill. The commission had asked the government to reconsider and review the provisions of the ‘Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021’, citing serious implications for the physical, psychological, social and education of minors. In the Compulsory Registration of Marriage Bill, it has been provided that within 30 days of child marriage, the parents of the boy and the girl will have to inform the marriage registration officer for registration. On giving information in the prescribed format by the parents, that marriage will also be registered. There is a dispute over this provision, due to which the government is going to get this bill back.
On September 17, there was a huge uproar in the assembly on the bill related to the registration of child marriage. BJP had a walkout from the house in protest against this bill. BJP has been demanding to withdraw this bill from the very beginning. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had written a letter to the Rajasthan government recently regarding this bill. The commission had asked to reconsider and review the provisions of the bill. A petition has also been filed against this in the Supreme Court. Many social activists have also opposed it.