Opposition BJP staged a walkout from the Rajasthan Assembly in protest over an amendment bill, claiming that it would legalise child marriages.
The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has a provision that requires child marriages to be registered within 30 days. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Rajasthan Assembly witnessed hungama on Friday after a bill making registration of child marriages compulsory in the state was passed.
The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in the state assembly. The bill has a provision that requires child marriages to be registered within 30 days.
Opposition BJP protested the legislation, accusing the Congress government in Rajasthan of promoting child marriage. In the assembly, BJP MLAs also demanded a division of votes and when the government did not agree, they staged a walkout.
Leader of the Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said that registering child marriage is like giving legal recognition to such marriages.
Another BJP leader, Rajendra Rathod, said that child marriage is illegal under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, also known as Sharda Act.
Not only BJP MLAs but Congress supporters also condemned the bill. Sanyam Lodha, an independent MLA from Sirohi who has supported the Congress government, said this was a “black law” for Rajasthan where still a large number of child marriages take place.
Defending the bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal said the proposed legislation allows registration of marriages, but it has no provision that makes such marriages valid. Child marriages would continue to remain illegal under Rajasthan’s Child Marriage Act, 2006, he said.
Shanti Dhariwal also said that when such marriages are registered, they would come under the notice of the collector of the particular district who would then be able to take the necessary action against the families.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the commission would examine and do the needful to protect the interest of children.
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