Cop reluctant to book under Child Marriage Act

Police reluctant' to arrest under child marriage Act

, TNN | May 22, 2011, 05.28AM IST

JAIPUR: The tall claims of the state government regarding stringent action against child marriages don't seem to go down well with the Rajasthan police. 


While there is no denying the fact that hundreds of child marriages took place this season in all rural areas of the state, almost no FIRs was registered under sections of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. 

The best action taken against the offenders had been by the district administrations concerned to get restraining orders issued against family members from local courts if it receives prior information about a child marriage. 

That's why Bundi police made many heads to turn when on Friday they arrested a couple for marrying off their two girls below the age of 18. 

"It's probably the first case in at least Bundi district this year in which parents of two girls aged 11 and 17 years were arrested," said Ajeet Meghwanshi, station house officer of Dablana police station. 

He added they arrested Narayan Meena and his wife Nandu Bai. "On May 8, they had married off their two daughters to teenagers who too were not eligible to marry as per the law," said the officer. 

He added they received a complaint regarding the child marriage, but it had already taken place. The police investigated and found the charges true. They o took statements of the married couples and cross-checked their age. 

"The girls' parents have been arrested while we are trying to nab the family members of the grooms who are absconding," said the SHO. He added the couple has been booked under Sections 9, 10, 11 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. 

During interrogation, the accused, Naryan Meena, said he was suffering from a prolonged illness and wanted to get rid of the responsibilities of a daughters' marriage. 

A senior police officer said generally FIRs are not registered under Sections of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. "The action had always been preventive. Offenders usually get away with minor punishment. At the best, the family members are booked under Section 151 of CrPC and released the very next day," said the officer. 

ADG, crime PK Vyas admitted that slapping sections of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 on the accused is rare. 

Before the Akshya Tritiya on May 5 this year, the day when child marriages are rampant in rural areas Rajasthan, the state government had claimed to take action against anybody involved in organising child marriages, including priests, catering firms and photographers. 

The government has also warned of strict action against district administrations and police officials if they failed to check child marriages on Akshya Tritiya. But despite the fact that scores of child marriage took place, no action has been taken against any single official.




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