Libertatem Magazine

Minor Marriage Valid as Girl Attained Puberty Under Muslim Personal Law: Punjab and Haryana High Court

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In times, when individual freedoms especially in terms of the right to choice and personal freedom are being restricted and curbed, the Punjab and Haryana High Court emphasised how important these freedoms are.


In the given instance the petitioners are a Muslim couple. The age of the first petitioner is 36 (DOB: 1st April 1984) and the second petitioner was 17 years old (DOB: 10th January 2004).  The couple got married on 21st January 2021 in accordance with the rules laid down for Muslim marriage. The couple then sought Court protection as the families were against the union.


The counsel for the petitioners contended that “in Muslim law puberty and majority are one and the same and that there is a presumption that a person attains majority at the age of 15 years.”  The petitioner further contemplated that “a Muslim boy or Muslim girl who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry anyone he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere.” The petition reiterated the idea that in Muslim personal law system, the idea of the majority is that of attainment of puberty. Another argument raised by the petitioners was the threat to the fundamental rights of life and liberty due to familial pressure.

Decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court

The Court took into consideration the decision in the case of Yunus Khan v State of Haryana and Ors while stating that “the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the personal law of the Muslims.” According to the provisions of Muslim personal law, a person can enter the contract of marriage on the attainment of puberty.

Keeping this in mind, the single-judge bench of Alka Sarin held that “The petitioner No.2 being over 17 years of age was competent to enter into a contract o marriage with a person of her choice.” Upholding the importance of fundamental rights, the Court further contended that

“The Court cannot shut its eyes to the fact that the apprehension of the petitioners needs to be addressed. Merely because the petitioners have got married against the wishes of their family members, they cannot possibly be deprived of the fundamental rights as envisaged in the Constitution of India.”

This is yet another instance that the Court reiterated the importance of fundamental rights.

The Court also stated that

“puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of 15 years.”

The importance of personal choice, the right to choose and individual freedom as upheld by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Shafin Jahan have been reinforced through this judgement. The Court directed the SSP Mohali.

Shoukat Hussian and another v. State of Punjab and others [CRWP No.733 of 2021 (O&M) is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgement from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also contribute blog, articles, story tip, judgment and many more and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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