17-year-old girl competent to enter into a contract of marriage with person of her choice: P&H HC - The Daily Guardian
Connect with us

Policy & Politics

17-year-old girl competent to enter into a contract of marriage with person of her choice: P&H HC

To put things in perspective, the Bench then envisages in the next para that, “Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that petitioner No. 1, though minor, and petitioner No. 2, have married with each other against the wishes of respondents No. 4 to 6 and have sought protection to their life and liberty. They apprehend danger at the hands of respondents No. 4 to 6. The photograph, evidencing their marriage, is on record.”

Published

on

In a latest development, we saw how the Punjab and Haryana High Court has as recently as on December 22, 2021 in a learned, laudable, landmark and latest judgment titled Nargis and another Vs State of Punjab and others in CRWP-12067-2021 granted protection to a Muslim girl who is 17 year old and who married a Hindu man who is 33 year old while noting that she is of marriageable age under Muslim law. Prima facie, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also made it clear that a 17 year old girl was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with person of her choice. It must be apprised here that the Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill was hearing a protection plea that was filed by the couple (a Hindu man and a Muslim woman) who solemnized their marriage in a Hindu temple and thereafter, sought the protection of their life and liberty.

To start with, the ball is set rolling first and foremost in this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced oral judgment authored by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill wherein it is put forth quite elegantly, eloquently and effectively that, “Case is taken up for hearing through Video Conferencing. This petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing respondents No.2 and 3 to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners at the hands of respondents No.4 to 6.”

To put things in perspective, the Bench then envisages in the next para that, “Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that petitioner No.1, though minor, and petitioner No.2, have married with each other against the wishes of respondents No.4 to 6 and have sought protection to their life and liberty. They apprehend danger at the hands of respondents No.4 to 6. The photograph, evidencing their marriage, is on record as Annexure P-3. The petitioners have submitted a representation dated 16.12.2021 (Annexure P4) to respondent No.2-Senior Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, for redressal of their grievance.”

While fortifying the submission of the petitioners with relevant case laws, the Bench then discloses in the next para that, “Learned counsel for the petitioners further submits that this is the first marriage of both the petitioners. He has relied upon the decisions by the Coordinate Benches in ‘Kammu vs. State of Haryana & Ors.’ 2010(4) RCR (Civil) 716; ‘Yunus Khan vs. State of Haryana & Ors.’ 2014(3) RCR (Criminal) 518, ‘Mohd. Samim vs. State of Haryana & Ors.’ 2019(1) RCR (Criminal) 685, and dated 25.01.2021 rendered in CRWP733-2021, titled as ‘Shoukat Hussain and another Vs. State of Punjab and others’, to contend 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. It is further contented that a Muslim boy or Muslim girl who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry any one he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere.”

As we see, the Bench then states that, “Notice of motion to respondents No.1 to 3-State only, at this stage. On the asking of this Court, Mr. Chaman Lal Pawar, Sr. DAG, Punjab, accepts notice on behalf of respondents No.1 to 3. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties.”

Be it noted, the Bench then hastens to add in the next para that, “This Court has taken note of the judgements cited on behalf of the petitioners and also the fact that the girl in the instant case i.e. petitioner No.1 is aged about 17 years. In the case of Yunus Khan(supra), it has been noticed that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the personal law of the Muslims. Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’ has also been reproduced in the said decision. The said Article reads as under :

“195. Capacity for marriage – (1) Every Mahomedan of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage.

(2) Lunatics and minors who have not attained puberty may be validly contracted in marriage by their respective guardians.

(3) A marriage of a Mahomedan who is sound mind and has attained puberty, is void, if it is brought about without his consent.

Explanation – Puberty is presumed, in the absence of evidence, on completion of the age of fifteen years.””

Most significantly, the Bench then holds what forms the cornerstone of this notable judgment that, “A Coordinate Bench in Kammu’s case (supra), has held in para No.20 that as per the text Book of Mohammedan Law by Aqil Ahmad, “Puberty and majority” in the Muslim law, are one and the same. The presumption is that a person attains majority at the age of 15 years. It should be noted that marriage of a minor without the consent of the guardian is invalid unless it is ratified after the attainment of majority. A boy or girl who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry any one he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere if the match be equal.”

As a corollary and no less significantly, the Bench then considers it fit to hold in the next para that, “In view of the decisions cited above, the law is clear that the marriage of a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law. As per Article 195 from the book ‘Principles of Mohammedan Law by Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’, petitioner No.1 being 17 years of age, is competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice. Petitioner No.2 is stated to be about 33 years of age. Thus, petitioner No.1 is of marriageable age as envisaged by Muslim Personal Law. In any event, the issue in hand is not with regard to the validity of the marriage but to address the apprehension raised by the petitioners of danger to their life and liberty at the hands of the private respondents and to provide them protection as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution. Article 21 of the Constitution provides for protection of life and personal liberty and further lays down that no person shall be deprived of his or her life and personal liberty except as per the procedure established by law. 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.”

Finally, the Bench then deems it fit to hold that, “In view of the above discussion, but without entering upon an exercise to evaluate the evidentiary value of the documents placed on the file, I dispose of the present petition with a direction to respondent No.2- Senior Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, to decide the representation dated 16.12.2021 (Annexure P-4) moved by the petitioners, and grant protection to them, if any threat to their life and liberty is perceived. It is made clear that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners from legal action for violation of law, if any, committed by them.”

All said and done, the Single Judge Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill of Punjab and Haryana High Court makes it amply clear that 17 year old Muslim girl is fully competent to enter into a contract of marriage with person of her choice. There can be just no denying or disputing it! So it would be perfectly in order that in compliance with what the single Judge Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill has held so clearly, the parents and relatives of the Muslim girl must ensure that they refrain from exerting undue pressure on her to take decision as per their whims and fancies! This is what has been directed also by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this cogent, commendable, composed, concise and courageous judgment which the concerned authorities also must ensure that it is implemented properly so that the Muslim girl who is competent to enter into a contract of marriage is able to take the right decision as she pleases and not buckle under some external pressure which would be totally unacceptable!

Most significantly, the Bench then holds what forms the cornerstone of this notable judgment that, “A Coordinate Bench in Kammu’s case (supra), has held in para No.20 that as per the text Book of Mohammedan Law by Aqil Ahmad, “Puberty and majority” in the Muslim law, are one and the same. The presumption is that a person attains majority at the age of 15 years. It should be noted that marriage of a minor without the consent of the guardian is invalid unless it is ratified after the attainment of majority. A boy or girl who has attained puberty is at liberty to marry any one he or she likes and the guardian has no right to interfere if the match be equal.”

The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.

For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.

Policy & Politics

INDIA TO ADD 50 FRESH UNICORNS IN 2022: STUDY

Published

on

In India more than 50 startups have the potential of entering the unicorn club in 2022 as showcased in a new study. This will take the total tally of India to well over 100 startup unicorns(those well valued over $1 billion each). The year 2022 has shaped up nicely to become a matrix and a petri-dish of startups and with each success the chances of others joining them becomes well over-precedent. The growth of startups can be attributed to various national economic policies and the ease of doing business norms. The shopping capabilities and buying parameters of the people also has to do a lot with this, the report by a consultancy firm suggested.

Amit Nawka, partner(deals and startup leader) in PwC India, which conducted the study said that, “ We can say that the base of these companies in growth stage and late-stage deals have improved have improved significantly in the calendar year 2021, depicting a stronger base of companies having the potential to reach the unicorn status. With market sentiments favourably inclined towards startups, and the large base of scaled startup companies at the end of CY21, we expect the startup’ unicorn tally to go well beyond 100 by the end of 2022.” Over $10 billion was invested in the Indian startup ecosystem in the October-December quarter alone, according to the report.

81 is the total number of startups in India as of now with a total valuation of 4274 billion. Of these 44 unicorns with a total valuation of $89 billion were born last year, shows data from Invest India, the national investment promotion agency. The PwC report shows that in the fourth quarter, startup funding crossed the $10 billion mark.

If we talk about categorisation, Fintech startups raised nearly four times more funds last year as compared to the previous year. Edtech followed closely with a growth of 86% compared to $2.2 billion raised in 2020. Software as a service came in a close third. Growth and late-stage deals comprised around 85% of the total funding. Among the most persistent and active investors were Sequoia Capital, Accel and Tiger Global. A December 2021 report by the Hurun Research Institute had mentioned that India is the third largest home for unicorns globally but trails the US and China by a wide margin.

Bengaluru and the Nation Capital Region witnessed nearly three-fourth of the total funding by venture capital and private equity funds, the report said. In its list of 50 potential unicorns it placed companies like Khatabook, Whatfix, Practo, Ninjacart, Inshorts, Pepperfry as among the candidates because of their history of having raised over USD 100 million to date.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Effect of high rated fuel on country’s economy

Published

on

High fuel taxes combined with a recovery in international crude oil rates has affected millions of people, slowing down the recovery of the country. The price of petrol and diesel hits a new record everyday. In Mumbai, petrol can be bought at Rs 109.98 per litre and diesel costs Rs 94.14 for one litre as on 18th January.

Experts have warned that rising fuel rates could severely derail India’s economy, which is already under pressure due to the impact of the second Covid-19 wave. High petrol and diesel prices have not only impacted vehicle owners, but also people who do not own a car. Rising fuel prices have resulted in a sharp rise in retail inflation, making a host of essential commodities and services costlier for citizens.

Elevated tax levels are playing a major role in the current record high prices in India. The central government had last year increased levies on petrol by Rs 14 per litre and on diesel by Rs 16 per litre to shore up revenues as the pandemic forced a sharp slowdown in the economic activity. Central and state taxes currently account for about 53.5 per cent of the pump price of petrol and about 47.6 per cent of the pump price of diesel in Mumbai

The rising crude oil prices, and the higher taxation impact, have also contributed to the prices of petrol and diesel regularly setting new record highs across the country in 2021. Petrol in nation’s capital is priced at Rs 95.41 per litre while diesel in the national capital is retailing at Rs 86.67 per litre. India has seen a faster recovery in the consumption of petrol than of diesel after pandemic-related restrictions with petrol consumption up 9 per cent in September compared to the year ago period but diesel consumption remaining 6.5 per cent below 2020 levels. Diesel accounts for about 38 per cent of petroleum product consumption in India and is a key fuel used in industry and agriculture.

India has long pushed for Middle eastern countries to remove the Asian premium that Asian countries have to pay for crude oil as key oil producers set higher prices for India than for the US and European countries. Despite a 40 cent per barrel cut in the official selling price of light crude to Asia, Saudi Arabia is still charging a $1.30 premium on the benchmark price for light crude sold to India compared to a $2.4 discount on the benchmark price for European customers.

Experts have noted that countries like India do not have much bargaining power in the current market scenario where supply is lower than demand and that India’s bargaining power may be reduced further if we try to further diversify crude oil procurement. Also, the level of output and pricing benchmarks are decided by cartels such as OPEC.

So, Experts believe that the government should cut excise duty to some extent as it will provide some relief to customers and lead to higher sales and revenues which will accelerate the economy. But economic recovery will become tricky if the government continues to ignore rising fuel prices. If the commodity becomes too expensive, it would see a sharp decline in revenue.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

India-born top the list of founders among US unicorns: Study

Published

on

It is not only in India but in the US too that Indian founders are creating unicorns.

A study by Professor of Finance at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Ilya A. Strebulaev researched that 90 out of 1,078 founders and entrepreneurs across 500 US unicorns were born in India which signalled a significant presence of Indian-Americans in the country’s startup and tech economy. He tweeted that, “Over four out of ten unicorn founders are first gen immigrants”. Indian born founders were followed by the ones from Israel and Canada with 52 and 42 founders respectively.

Some of the Indian origin founders of prominent unicorns include: Rohan Seth of Clubhouse, Baiju Bhatt of Robinhood, Dheeraj Pandey, Mohit Aron, Ajeet Singh of Nutanix, Apoorv Mehta of Instacart, Aayush Phumbhra of Chegg, among many others.

The research undertaken by Strebulaev is ripe at the time when India based technology want to return back home. Indian immigrants in the US are increasingly leaving their American dream behind because of visa issues and also because of the allure of a thriving startup culture in the home country. America has had a history of extremely successful Indian-origin entrepreneurs including Kanwal Rekhi, Pramod Haque, Sanjay Malhotra among others. India born executives are not only fueling the startups of the US but they are the executives of the most powerful tech giants.

U.S based Kaufman Foundation 33.2% of the co-founders of technology and engineering founded by immigrants in the US were Indians. Kaufman Foundation found out that Indian immigrant contribution in tech and startup industry was the only one that increased, all other immigrant contributions saw a decline. Another finding showed that 33 of the top 50 AI companies have at least one first generation immigrant founder. And 53 of the 125 founders are first generation immigrants. India and Israel were the largest senders of immigrant AI founders followed by the UK, China and Portugal.

India has a vibrant and an ever growing startup ecosystem. A recent report by venture capital fund Orios Venture Partners said Indian startups raised $42 Billion in 2021 up from $11.5 Billion in the previous year. The newly minted unicorns include ShareChat, Cred, Meesho, Moglix, MPL, Grofers(now blinkit), upGrad, Mamaearth, Acko, Spinny and others. India with 90 unicorns is the third largest unicorn hub behind the US(487) and China(301) and ahead of the UK(39). According to the report Flipkart was the most valuable unicorn($37.6 Billion).

India has seen four decacorns(companies with a valuation of USD 10 billion and above) so far- Flipkart, Paytm, BYJU’s and Oyo Rooms. While Bengaluru was the ‘Unicorn Hub’ with 18 unicorns emerging from the city in 2021 and 35 in all. It also happens to be the seventh largest unicorn city in the world.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

KARNATAKA’S ROLE IN BUILDING A $5 TRILLION ECONOMY WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER, CHIEF MINISTER BOMMAI

Published

on

Karnataka is expected to play a significant part in the economy of the country in the future. The state is home to 13,000 of the country’s 54,000 startups. The Karnataka government has taken a number of steps to stimulate the formation of new businesses. The government is providing guidance and scientific support, according to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

In an online message on the occasion of ‘National Startup Day’ on Sunday, the Chief Minister stated that the notion of a New Karnataka for a New India would be realized. In accordance with the Prime Minister’s wishes, the state has commemorated Startup Day in a meaningful way. The state government will give a major boost to startups, innovation, scientific thinking, and entrepreneurship in the coming days, he added. “Thanks to the Prime Minister’s long-term goal, the number of startups, which was once about 500, has already surpassed 54,000.” He has given a tremendous boost to innovation and entrepreneurs by establishing a forum to assist them and free them from government limitations. “On behalf of the state’s youth, the Prime Minister has been the inspiration for the biggest development of startups in the state,” Bommai added, thanking the Prime Minister.

Bengaluru is home to around 180 science and research institutions in a variety of sectors.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

‘WEALTH OF 10 RICHEST INDIANS ENOUGH TO FUND HIGHER EDUCATION OF CHILDREN’

Published

on

DA hike

According to a new study, it has been found that the wealth of the 10 richest Indians is enough to fund school and higher education of children for over two decades (approx. 25 years). When most of the country was gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, the combined fortunes of the Indian billionaires more than doubled during this period. The superrich count in the country has now shot up to 142, rising by 39 per cent.

The annual wealth inequality survey reported presented by Oxfam India at the Davos Agenda Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) said that an additional one per cent tax on the richest 10 per cent can provide nearly 17.7 lakh extra oxygen cylinders to the country. None of us can forget how there was a huge rush for oxygen cylinders and insurance claims during the second wave that struck last year.

On the other hand, a similar wealth tax on the 98 most-affluent families can finance Ayushman Bharat – world’s largest health insurance scheme, for more than seven years.

The report further finds that 142 Indian billionaires together own a wealth of $719 billion (over Rs 53 lakh crore). The richest 98 amongst them have the same wealth ($657 billion or nearly Rs 49 lakh crore) as the poorest 55.5 crore populace who are placed in the bottom 40 per cent.

It was found that if all of the top 10 richest Indians go on to spend $1 million every day, then it will take them 84 years to do away with their current wealth.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Exports target of US$650 bn within the current financial year achievable: Piyush Goyal

‘$400 Bn target of Merchandise exports is within sight and the Services sector should strive for $250 Bn exports.’

Tarun Nangia

Published

on

Piyush Goyal

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyaltoday said the exports target of USD 650 Billion within the current financial year is achievable. Chairing a Review Meeting of all major Export Promotion Councils (EPCs), Goyal said the $400 Bn target of Merchandise exports is within sight and the Services sector should strive for $250 Bnexports.

Expressing his satisfaction that India achieved $300 BnMerchandise exports in the first nine months of the current FY (April-Dec, 2022), Goyal assured the EPCs that his Ministry will do whatever it takes in handholding the EPCs and resolving their issues to attain even higher export targets in the next FY.

Shri Goyal said we can set a much higher goods exports target in the current last quarter of this FY. “In December alone we touched $37 Bn goods exports despite the Omicron fear factor weighing high. This month, in 15 days till January 15th, we have reached $16 Bn.”

oyal said the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has himself set the pace by setting “transformational results” and not “incremental growth”.

The Commerce & Industry Minister urged the EPCs and entrepreneurs to avail of the Government’s initiatives towards Ease of Doing Business such as obtaining clearances through the National Single Window System. He assured the Industry representatives to pursue their demands during the various FTA negotiations.

Speaking of the government’s efforts to improve the ease of living and the ease of doing business, Goyal said that more than 25,000 compliances have been reduced.

“In December alone we touched $37 Bn goods exports despite the Omicron fear factor weighing high” – Piyush Goyal

Continue Reading

Trending