Additional solicitor general Darius Khambatta, on Wednesday, submitted before the Bombay High Court that no offence under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, can be made out unless the marriage in question is solemnised.
He was replying to a petition filed by Aurangabad-based Zakia Begum, who was booked by the Ghatkopar police, for trying to perform the nikah of her 15-year-old daughter in 2009.
The police rescued her hours before the nikah could be solemnised. After the police registered an FIR against the relatives of the bride and the groom, Zakia Begum moved the HC challenging the Constitutional validity of sections of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, applied against them.
Khambatta said no offence had taken place in Zakia Begum’s case, as the nikah had not been solemnised. “Mere attempt (to perform child marriage) is not an offence,” he said. The court has posted the matter for hearing on September 6 to decide whether it needs to consider the challenge to Constitutional validity of the sections.