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SC asks UP Home Secretary to appear in Muslim girl's case


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Uttar Pradesh Home Secretary to appear before it on Monday observing that the government has failed to file a response on a minor Muslim girl's plea challenging Allahabad High Court order declaring her marriage as void.

A Bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana directed the state Home Secretary to appear before the court personally, observing that the state government has not filed response despite being granted an opportunity.

The Uttar Pradesh government has sought more time to file response on the plea.

"We are forced to compel the appearance of the state Home Secretary to appear personally before us on Monday," the bench said.

The court was hearing the plea of a 16-year-old Muslim girl, who has been ordered to stay in a shelter home for women in Uttar Pradesh, after her marriage was found to be void by the Allahabad High Court.

The high court had dismissed her plea against the trial court's order observing that since she was a "minor" her case would be dealt with in accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 and as she did not want to join her parents, the order sending her to the shelter home was correct.

As per Islamic Law, once a female attains the age of puberty, that is 15 years, she is independent to take decisions in her life and is competent to marry any one of her own choices, the Muslim girl has said in her plea.

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