The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. This move would bring the legal age of marriage for women at par with men which is 21 years.
The move will now require a law to be tabled in Parliament to amend personal laws governing age of marriage such as the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Special Marriage Act and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Currently, for Hindus Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, the Hindu Marriage Act sets 18 years as the minimum age of the bride and 21 years for the groom;
in Islam, the personal laws lay down that the marriage of a minor who has attained puberty is considered to be of marriageable age.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men, respectively.