Child Marriage Act in India A Revolution to Ban Child Marriage
Child Marriage Act in India A Revolution to Ban Child Marriage
Child marriage as a tradition is not new to Indian society and culture. Let’s find out what the prohibition act is and how it helps stop child marriage.

Child Marriage Act in India A Revolution to Ban Child Marriage

According to the child marriage act in India, marriage is arranged between two people when a girl is under 18, and a boy is under 21 years of age.


Children's marriages often happen in rural areas where illiterate people and poverty are rampant. Many factors promote child marriage, such as ignorance, social norms, poor education, and a view of girls as financial burdens. 


Child marriages have consequences, such as health problems for women due to early pregnancy, the continuing deterioration of their status, and the vicious cycle of gender inequality.


As a result of the failure of the Prevention of Child Marriage Act, 1929, a new law to replace it got passed in the form of the Prevention of Child Marriage Act, 2006. / or INR 1 penalty p. Defines a child as referring to a man under the age of 21 and a woman under the age of 18.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1956

Under the Hindu Marriage Act, only parties to child marriage get punished even if they do not consent to marry. There is no provision to punish parents or married couples. A girl can only get a divorce if she gets married before 15 years of age and challenges the marriage before she is18 years old.

Muslim Personal Law

Its provisions are based on the interpretation of the Quran by scholars. Under Islamic law, there is no restriction on child marriage, and the guardian has the right to marry the child. However, the couple has a 'puberty option' known as khayar-ul-bulugh, where you can divorce after marriage.


However, they should do so before reaching the age of 18 and only if the marriage has not yet been completed. The age of marriage under Islamic law is 15 years of adolescence. However, the marriage is less than seven years old and even if it gets legalised by a legal guardian, void ab initio.

The right of a married child to divorce

The Act gives a right to a party who was a child at the time of the marriage to declare the marriage invalid. 


If the child is under 18 years of age and wants to apply for a divorce, the application can be filed by their next spouse/guardian and the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer; however, they must apply for a decree of nullity after the age of 18 years. They can file a petition themselves. 


According to the Age of Consent act 1891, the child had to marry against his/her consent and have some rights to exercise.


  • In such a marriage, it is said to be precious money, gems, ornaments, and other gifts exchanged between the sides that should be returned.


  • The court may also issue a temporary or final order to the husband or parent/guardian, if the husband is under 18 years of age, to pay maintenance to the wife until she remarries.


  • If any children are born into such a marriage, the court may also decide on their custody, keeping in mind their best interests. It should get noted that children born in child marriage are legal.

Who can get punished for child marriage?

According to the age of consent act 1891, the one who forced the marriage of two children without their consent is punishable under the act. The punishments are:

  • A man over the age of 18 and married to a girl under 18 can be fined up to two years in prison or fined up to lakh rupees or both.

  • A person committing a misdemeanour or representing a child marriage may get severely sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to lakh rupees or both.

  • Anyone who promotes or condones child marriage may get sentenced to two years in prison with a fine of up to lakh rupees or both. However, no woman can get punished with imprisonment.

The power of the Magistrate to issue an order prohibiting child marriage

Upon receiving the information that the child's marriage is about to be arranged or sworn or may send an order prohibiting any person who arranges such marriage.

According to the Sarda Act, the Magistrate can issue an order in the following cases:

  • In a complaint lodged by someone who knows or has reason to believe that the marriage will get arranged by an NGO

  • If the application gets made by a Child Marriage Prohibition Officer

  • Or even alone when he finds reliable information about such a marriage or to prevent the event of mass marriage on certain days like Akshaya Tritiya.

  • Anyone who willfully violates the law may get sentenced to two years' imprisonment or a fine of up to one lakh rupees or both, but no woman can get punished with imprisonment.

Negative Impact of Child Marriage 

According to the Sarda act, there are some severe adverse impacts of child marriage on the concerned person, such as

  • Major health risks.

  • HIV, Anemia, women's problems.

  • Pregnancy is the primary death cause among young women aged 15 to 19 years.

  • It stops the scholastic, social and economic growth of girls.


Child Marriage is a nuisance that cannot get stopped without the community's support. There have been demands to make child marriage less of an issue under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act in India. Still, Indian society is more complex and complicated, and to make child marriages null and void would jeopardise the rights of women victims of child marriage. 

The law will not achieve its purpose unless there is support from the community. Uniform Civil Code (UCC) can also help to prevent child marriage to some degree.