Marriage as per Muslim Personal Law is not beyond the purview of POCSO Law : Kerala High Court

Having physical relations with a minor is a crime !

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – A marriage taking place under Muslim Personal Law (MPL) is not beyond the purview of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Law was an important verdict passed by Kerala High Court while dismissing a petition filed by Khalid-ur Rehman (age-31 years). Even if a marriage is legal under MPL, it will be considered a crime under POCSO Law when one party in such a marriage is minor, stated Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas. Such marriage (legalised under MPL after committing a crime) cannot be considered beyond the purview of POCSO law.

Rehman had kidnapped a 16-year-old girl from Bengal, raped her, and then to save himself, married her under MPL since it is allowed under MPL to marry a young girl who has attained puberty. It was, therefore, claimed that a case of rape cannot be filed against him under POCSO. The Court stated on this argument that the purpose of passing POCSO Law is to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors under the guise of marriage. Child marriage is a violation of human rights, and it is a social curse. It compromises children’s development.

(Credit : CNN-News18)

Not agreeing with the verdicts passed by Punjab – Haryana and Delhi High Courts !

Justice Thomas clarified on the occasion that he did not agree with the views of the Punjab-Haryana and Delhi High Courts on this matter. He said those Courts in their verdicts had conferred the right to marry a person of her choice to a 15-year-old Muslim girl. They had also given a husband respite after maintaining physical relations with his minor wife. Even in a case in Karnataka, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a criminal case against Mohamad Wasim Ahmad for marrying a 17-year-old girl.

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