Rajasthan BJP MPs marched out of the House, challenging the need for child marriage registration and demanding that the bill be withdrawn.
With the opposition staging a walkout from the legislature, Rajasthan has passed a bill amending a statute on mandatory marriage registration, including child marriages.
On Friday, the Rajasthan Assembly passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which alters the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, and requires parents or guardians to provide information on child marriages within 30 days of the wedding.
Legislators from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of the House, questioning the need for child marriage registration and demanding that the bill be withdrawn.
The state’s Congress administration, on the other hand, claims that the measure was introduced in response to a Supreme Court order.
BJP leaders say the bill will record a black day for the assembly
“If this bill passes, it will be a black day for the assembly. Is it possible for the assembly to agree to allow child marriages? We shall approve child weddings by a show of hands. According to news agency ANI, BJP MLA Ashok Lahoti said, “The bill will record a black chapter in the history of the assembly.”
The change, according to Rajasthan parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal, does not declare that child weddings will be valid. “You say child marriages would be recognized. This amendment makes no mention of such marriages being valid. “A marriage certificate is a legal document without which a widow will not be eligible for any government scheme,” Dhariwal was cited by ANI as adding.
Despite opposition, the bill was ultimately passed
The government will now be able to employ an additional district marriage registration officer (DMRO) and a block marriage registration officer to record marriages under the bill enacted by the Rajasthan legislature.
Only the DMRO was previously authorized to record weddings in the state. If the girl’s age at the time of marriage is less than 18 and the boy’s age is less than 21, her parents must notify the registration officer within 30 days under Section 8 of the Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act.
The opposition protested to Section 8 of the 2009 Act being amended, claiming that it should be repealed. By voice voting, the bill was approved.