In an unprecedented judicial order, the Delhi High Court restrained a couple from indulging in physical relationship for almost a year.
The girl involved is a minor aged 17 years and the man, Yashpal, in his 40s.
Issuing a series of directions to "protect" the girl's interest, the court ordered the couple to not indulge in sexual intercourse till the girl turns 18 — on June 30, 2011.
"Yashpal shall not consummate the marriage. It would be responsibility of not only Yashpal, but the parents of the girl shall also ensure this," Justices AK Sikri and Ajit Bharihoke said.
They also ordered that until the girl turns 18 years old, she shall stay with her parents and not her husband Yashpal.
The order came after an NGO filed petition to declare the marriage illegal and sought action against the girl's father and her husband.
The NGO had contended that the father Vijaypal, a labourer living in Najafgarh, had sold her off to the man, already married and having two children.
Deviating from earlier judgements, which allowed minor brides to reside with their husbands, the high court said, "In actuality, child marriage is a violation of human rights, compromising the development of girls and often resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation."
The court, however, refused to declare the marriage void, as the legality of such marriage is already being adjudicated by a larger Bench of the court.