129 child marriages prevented with counselling in Haryana

Dec 08, 2015 20:53 | Haryana

Chandigarh, December 8 – In line with the Haryana Government’s efforts to prevent child marriages and atrocities against women in the State, Protection cum Prohibition Officers (PPOs) in Haryana have dealt with 278 complaints of child marriage from October, 2014, till date.
        While giving this information here today, Haryana Women and Child Minister, Mrs. Kavita Jain, said that during this period, 129 child marriages were prevented with counselling and 30 through injunction orders. The remaining complaints were either referred to Police for necessary action or application given for nullity under Section 3.
        The Minister urged the people of the State to immediately inform Child Marriage Prohibition Officer, Police or Deputy Commissioner of their area if they are the victim of child marriage or child marriage is being solemnised nearby their area. She added that further details can be accessed on the Women and Child Department’s official website www.wcdhry.gov.in.
Giving further details, Mrs. Jain said that the Haryana Government has established Special Cells for Women and Children in each district to implement the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. These Special Cells are aimed at rebuilding the self-esteem, self-worth and dignity of victims, performing the roles of Protection Officer and Prohibition Officer under the PWDV Act, 2005, and PCM Act, 2006, respectively, and offering immediate services in cases of family violence and atrocities against women and child marriages. Apart from this, the work of the Special Cells includes creating awareness among women and children, among professional groups and general public of the provisions of the PWDV Act, 2005 and the PCM Act, 2006, and documenting the work done.
                She added that the PCM Act, 2006, defines child marriage as a marriage in which either of the contracting parties, if male, has not completed 21 years of age, and if female, has not completed 18 years of age. The Government has implemented this Act to prohibit child marriages. Solemnisation of marriage of girls below 18 years and boys below 21 years is a cognisable and non-bailable offence, punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to two years and fine of up to Rs one lakh to persons who perform, conduct, direct and abet solemnisation of the child marriage. A male adult above 18 years of age solemnising marriage with minor girl would be punishable with rigorous imprisonment which may extend up to two years or with fine of Rs one lakh or both. The victim of child marriage can file petition for annulment of marriage within two years of attaining maturity.