K'taka HC forms core committee to tackle child marriage



Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday constituted a four-member core committee headed by former Supreme Court Judge Shivraj Patil to tackle the menace of child marriage.

Disposing of a PIL seeking directions to prevent child marriages in the State, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna, formed a four-member committee to look into issues pertaining to the social evil.

Secretary, Department of Revenue, Secretary, Women and Child Welfare and Chair Person, Child Rights Committee will be the members.

As per the High Court directions, the office of the core committee will be attached to the revenue department. The Chairman will be paid transportation and renumeration and all the issues related to the Child marriage menace will be addressed by the committee.

During the earlier hearing following the High Court direction, the petitioners and the State Government (Government advocate and Department for Women and Child Welfare) had been asked to submit a list of experts and had submitted a list of 16 members.

However, the bench had directed to restrict the members to four with chairman being a retired Judge.

The Bench had expressed shock over the prevalence of the century-old evil practice of child marriages.

"The marriage is being thrust upon the young girls and unfortunately many people encourage such practices. We haven't seen more atrocities than this," Chief Justice Khehar had said.

The petitioners have submitted that child marriage is seen as part of the culture and unless people volunteer and come together to act against the practice it can't be prevented.

They contended that the child marriage will adversely affect the future of a young girl, her education and may lead to maternal mortality.

They alleged that the government's decision to subsidise mass marriages has been "misused" by people, where children are married in groups in presence of political leaders.

The PIL was filed by by Muthamma and Boodiayya, residents of Bangalore.

PTI