Retrograde HC Judgement on Child Marriage Being Put To Use

Retrograde HC Judgement on Child Marriage Being Put To Use
16 October, 2005  

THE Janwadi Mahila Samiti (JMS), Delhi state committee, expressed its shock over the growing incidents of child marriage and the support extended to these by the administration, especially the police, through their refusal to intervene to stop such incidents even when they are brought to their notice by women’s organisations.

On October 9, 2005 JMS received a complaint from Kishan, the father of Shalu, a 13-year old girl (resident N-38/D-555, CD Park, Jahangirpuri, Delhi) that Shalu was being forcibly married to a 26-year old boy named Santosh (Santosh is a resident of Loni, Ghaziabad). This was being done at the behest of Shalu’s mother Radha (Kishan’s wife) and her family.
When activists of JMS led by Asha Lata, general secretary, JMS, Delhi state committee and Asha Sharma, secretariat member, reached the venue on October 9 in order to stop the marriage, they were attacked violently by the mother of the girl as well as other relatives. It was shameful that even though the local police was present at the venue they took no steps to prevent the marriage nor did they stop the attackers.
Earlier, the leadership of JMS contacted the area DCP and requested him to intervene in the matter. Although he gave a positive assurance yet he took no steps to prevent the marriage. After the incident Asha Lata went to the police station accompanied by other members to register a complaint. It was shocking for the activists that the SHO of Jahangirpuri police station, Bhup Singh, expressed his helplessness in the matter and produced the copy of the judgment of Delhi High Court pertaining to the marriage of girls below the age of eighteen years.
The JMS leaders met the Police Commissioner and submitted a memorandum signed by Sudha Sundararaman, all India general secretary of AIDWA, Asha Lata, secretary, Delhi state committee and Kirti Singh, president, Delhi state JMS.
The JMS regarded this as a clear violation of the laws against child marriage and strongly condemned the irresponsible attitude of Jahangirpuri police station SHO. It demanded strict action against the SHO and police officials who were present at the venue. It also demanded that an FIR be registered against Santosh and other accomplices under appropriate legal sections.