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Be extra vigilant, collectors told

THE STATE Government has claimed that it has taken effective measures to prevent child marriages this year. For this, district-specific action plans are being implemented. District collectors have been asked to be extra alert on occasion of Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej on April 30 this year, according to a press release issued by the State Government.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 01:31 IST

THE STATE Government has claimed that it has taken effective measures to prevent child marriages this year. For this, district-specific action plans are being implemented. District collectors have been asked to be extra alert on occasion of Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej on April 30 this year, according to a press release issued by the State Government.

Child marriage is an offence under Child Marriage Prevention Act-1929. Anyone on the wrong side of the law is liable to imprisonment or fine or both, the press release added. People in rural areas are not aware about the provisions of this law, which is a major factor responsible for large-scale child marriages still taking place there. The Act prohibits marriage of a boy less than 21 years and a girl less than 18 years of age.

Under Section-3 of the Act, if a man more than 18 years and less than 21 years of age marries a girl who is less than 18 years of age, he would be liable to imprisonment of up to 15 days or fine of Rs 1,000 or both. Under Section-4 if a man, who is more than 21 years of age, marries a minor girl he would be liable to simple imprisonment that may extend up to three months and fine.

Under Section-5, anyone performing the wedding rituals in child marriages would also be punished with simple imprisonment for three months and fine.

Section-6 of the Act provides for punishment to the parents and guardians responsible for child marriage. Anyone abetting child marriage is also liable to be punished with imprisonment for up to three months. However, no woman is liable to imprisonment under the Act.

First Published: Apr 29, 2006 01:31 IST