//NCW hails SC order on underage marriages

NCW hails SC order on underage marriages

New Delhi, March 28 (PTI): The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court’s order staying a controversial decision of the Delhi High Court on underage marriages even as it said discrepancies in Indian law on definition of child needed to be rectified to stop child marriage.

"The High Court judgment could have set a wrong precedent for lower courts to follow. On one hand we are fighting to end child marriage, and on the other, the High Court judgment went against our campaign against girls being married under 18 years of age," NCW Chairperson, Girija Vyas, told reporters.

She said the Commission approached the apex court and filed an SLP as well as a writ petition, with the main point pleaded being that there were discrepancies in the different legislations with regard to definition of a child.

"These discrepancies are leaving the issue open to different interpretations, which is not going to help us in our fight against child marriage," Vyas said.

An example being that while under the Indian Majority Act 1975, a person is deemed to be a major on completion of 18 years, while under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1986, a child means a person who has not completed the age of 16 years.

The Supreme Court stayed a controversial decision of the Delhi High Court expressing inability to take action against "run away marriages" by teenagers, the interim order coming on a petition filed by NCW.