“According to Mohammedan law, a girl can marry without the consent of her parents once she attains the age of puberty,” Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and S.P. Garg of the Delhi High Court said recently.
The bench was ruling on a Delhi Muslim girl’s contention that she had married on her own free will when she was 15 years old and that her mother’s charge that she had been abducted be dropped. She won the case.
"This is nothing but promoting 'balika vadhus' among the Muslims, while the same (child marriage) is illegal among the Hindus," Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna.
Elaborating, Thackeray said that as per the Indian laws, no girl below the age of 18 and no boy below 21 are legally permitted to marry.
Moreover, any kind of physical relationship with a girl below 18 is treated as "rape", even if that relationship is with her consent. This law applies equally to all Indians, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, he said.