The pressure on Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to act against the khap panchayats for advocating early marriage of girls as a remedy to check crimes, such as rape, is mounting.
After Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who during her recent visit to the state, had criticized khap panchayats for the absurd suggestion, Women & Child Development minister Krishna Tirath now has shot off a letter to Hooda asking him to “take necessary action against the violators.”
Arguing that it tantamounts to “openly flouting the law of the land”, Tirath in her October 17 letter has said the khap panchayats’ recent suggestion violates the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
The law prohibits girls below 18 years and boys below 21 years from legally getting married.
“As custodians of Prohibition of Child marriage Act 2006, the Centre and state are jointly responsible to administer the Act and ensure that child marriages do not take place…. In this context, I would request you to take necessary action against the violators of the law of the land,” Tirath wrote.
According to Section 11 of the Act, if a child marriage is reported, it is punishable with a fine of R1 lakh fine and two- year imprisonment.