Rajasthan government recalls Marriages Amendment Bill 2021

A controversial law in Rajasthan seen to validate/legitimise child marriages by asking parents to register them has been withdrawn by the state’s Congress government after a huge uproar.

The Rajasthan Compulsory Registrations of Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021, passed last month in the Rajasthan assembly but yet to be enacted, said all marriages including those of minors must be registered. In the case of minors, their parents or guardians must register the marriages, it said.

The law triggered outrage, with many saying it would encourage child marriages. A non-government organisation also challenged the amendment to the bill in the Rajasthan high court.

After protests raised by activists and the opposition, the state, on the day of the International Girl Child on Monday, said that it will ask the governor to return the bill.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the government is working with a “strong will” for the complete eradication of child marriage in the state. “We have a strong resolve that child marriage should not take place in the state and the government will not make any compromise in this regard,” he tweeted.

He said the bill was brought after a Supreme Court directive which says all marriages should be registered. “However, we request the governor to return the bill due to the incorrect notion over child marriages,” he said.

“After legal consultation from lawyers, it will be considered whether to take the bill forward or not,” added the Chief Minister, while addressing a programme on International Girl Child Day.