3 states yet to frame rules under Child Marriage Act: Maneka

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NEW DELHI, Aug 10 (PTI): Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland are yet to frame rules for carrying out the provisions of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006 authorises state governments to frame rules as envisaged under the Act.

In a written reply to a query, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland have not framed rules for carrying out the provisions of the Act.

Meghalaya and Nagaland have not framed the rules as child marriage is not in prevalence, but they have adopted the Act, she said.

A total of 619 cases of child marriage were registered under the PCMA in 2015 and 2016. The highest number of such cases during the period was reported from Tamil Nadu (132) followed by Karnataka (86), the minister said.

Child marriages are valid in the country, but can be annulled if a case is filed in a district court by either of the two contracting parties within two years of becoming an adult, or through a guardian in case of minors.

The Women and Child Development Ministry seeks to amend Section 3 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 under which a child marriage is only voidable at the option of the contracting parties.

The legal age for marriage in the country is 18 for a woman and 21 for a man.

According to UNICEF, India saw a sharp decline in child marriages over the last 10 years with 27 per cent of girls getting married before their 18th birthday as against 47 per cent a decade ago.

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