The Allahabad High Court recently observed that a minor girl is not allowed to stay with a man whom she claimed to be her husband.
The decision came after it was found that according to school certificates of girl, she was a minor.
Justice JJ Munir also clarified that the girl could not prove her majority through her medical examination when according to school certificate she was born in 2004.
The ruling was based on an application of Section 94 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and subsequent case laws.
"The provisions of Section 94(2) makes it vivid that in the face of a date of birth certificate from the school or the matriculation or equivalent certificate from the concerned examination Board, the other evidence about the age of a victim cannot be looked into... She cannot be referred to medical examination for determination of her age, so long as her date of birth founded on her High School Certificate, is available.", the Court noted.
“Even if it is the prosecutrix's stand, which this Court assumes to be so, that she is 18 years old, and has married Pintoo of her free will, she cannot be regarded as a major or permitted to prove herself a major, by asking herself to be referred to medical examination by a Board of Doctors, so long as her High School Certificate is clear on the point,” the Court said.
Earlier a judicial magistrate has allowed her to go with her husband. But the order was challenged in high court.
All the same, during personal interaction with the judge, the girl informed the Court that she wanted to live with her husband and that there was no force or coercion.
The Court noted that the marriage, in this case, was not ‘void’ but ‘voidable', which means that the girl may choose to carry forward the marriage if she wishes to once she becomes an adult.
"... she has left her home of her own accord and married him. In this view of the matter, the marriage would not be void under Section 12 of the Act of 2006, but would be voidable under Section 3 of the said Act,” the Court observed.
The court set aside the order of magistrate and told that after attaining majority she is allowed to go anywhere she wants.