Bill to raise legal marriage age for women lapses as 17th Lok Sabha dissolves

    The Hawk
    June8/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which sought to raise the minimum marriage age for females to 21, has lapsed with the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha.

    Representative Image of a mass marriage ceremony

    New Delhi: With the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha, a bill that aimed to bring uniformity in the age of marriage for men and women has lapsed.

    The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2021 and was referred to the standing committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports.

    The standing committee received multiple extensions over a period of time.

    Citing provisions of law and Constitution, former Lok Sabha Secretary-General and Constitution expert P D T Acharya told PTI that with the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha, "the bill has now lapsed".

    The bill aimed to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 to increase the minimum age of marriage of females to 21 years.

    Further, the Bill would have overridden any other law, custom, or practice.

    Under the 2006 Act, a person married below the minimum age may apply for annulment within two years of attaining majority (i.e., before 20 years of age). The Bill increases this to five years (i.e., 23 years of age).

    The 17 Lok Sabha was dissolved after the members of the 18th Lok Sabha were elected in the general elections.