Marriage bill sent to parliamentary committee for scrutiny
The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to increase the marriageable age of women from 18 to 21 years, was sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny on Tuesday after it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
While introducing the bill, Union minister Smriti Irani said, “Equality of women in our country needs to be seen in [terms of] age of marriage. Invoking marriage laws of different faiths, I rise to introduce the amendment bill.”
Congress lawmaker Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury lashed out at the government for listing the bill on the supplementary business list, which was circulated 20 minutes before the House reconvened at 2pm. “I want to tell the government that they will make mistakes if they hurry. They did not consult any of the stakeholders. Why does the government keep doing this? It shows the intent of the government.” He added that the bill should be sent for review.
Nationalist Congress Party lawmaker Supriya Sule said the government was again aggressively pushing a bill without consulting the Opposition.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore hit out at the government in a tweet. “Another assault on the parliament by RSS Sarkar, Bill circulate at 1.40pm and introduction at 2pm and passing,” he tweeted, sharing a copy of the bill.
Irani said men and women need equal rights in matrimony. “This amendment gives equality to men and women in allowing both to marry at 21. Our research shows that 2.1 million child marriages had to be stopped and many underage girls were found pregnant. So you are stopping right to equality.”
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said, “Even the Law Commission had objections with the bill. So, it should be sent to the standing committee.”
Trinamool Congress lawmaker Saugata Roy said he opposed the bill as it was introduced in a hurry.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the bill is against fundamental rights. “An 18-year-old can vote but cannot get married.”