The Supreme Court has taken note of a petition filed regarding moving two petitions requesting uniform minimum age of marriage for male and female genders from the Rajasthan and Delhi High Courts to the Supreme Court itself. It has also issued a notice to the Center on this matter.
The petition filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar seeks to transfer these pending petitions to the Supreme Court so that there would be less chance of multiple litigations or misinterpretation of key articles of the law.
The petitioner has also filed that the existing minimum age requirements (18 for women and 21 for men) are 'unscientific' and contravenes assurances of gender equality made under India's International Human Rights obligations under the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ("CEDAW"), which it ratified in 1993.
"A younger spouse is therefore expected to respect and be servile to her elder partner, which aggravates the pre-existing gender-based hierarchy in the marital relationship," reads the petition, reports LiveLaw.
The petitioner has also requested the Central Government to take appropriate steps to make the minimum age of marriage 'gender-neutral, religion-neutral and uniform for all citizens' in the spirit of the Articles 14, 15, 21 and International Conventions.