In an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, the court said that a minor Muslim girl who is less than 18 years of age and has attained puberty is free to marry anyone as per the Muslim Personal Law.
In the order passed by Justice Alka Sarin while hearing a petition moved by a Muslim couple from Punjab, the judge observed that a Muslim girl is governed by the Muslim Personal Law. The petitioners, a 36-year-old man and 17-year-old girl, got married on January 21, 2021 as per Muslim ceremonies but against the wishes of their family members. Justice Sarin observed that the petitioners cannot be deprived of their fundamental rights because their family members were against the marriage.
The court in its judgment referred to Article 195 of Muslim Personal Law saying that a Muslim girl on attaining the age of puberty was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice.
Article 195 of the Muslim Personal Law says, “Every Mohomedan (Muslim) of sound mind, who has attained puberty, may enter into a contract of marriage. Lunatics and minors who have not attained puberty may be validly contracted in marriage by their respective guardians. A marriage of a Mohomedan who is (of) sound mind and has attained puberty is void if it is brought about without his consent.”
The court therefore observed that the girl, being over 17 years of age was competent to enter into a contract of marriage with a person of her choice as both the petitioners are of marriageable age as per the Muslim Personal Law.
The court also directed Mohali SSP to take appropriate action to ensure the safety and security of the couple.