Rajasthan-based serial Balika Vadhu that is telecasted on television, turned reel into real when the assembly of Rajasthan passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which amends the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. The bill says that if the girl’s age at the time of marriage is less than 18 years and the boy’s age is less than 21 years, then their parents or guardian will have to furnish the information to the registration officer within 30 days of the wedding.
The 2021 amendment of section 8 of the 2009 Act states that parents or guardians of a bridegroom who is under 21 and a bride who is under 18, ” shall be responsible to submit the memorandum, in such manner, as may be prescribed, within a period of 30 days from the date of solemnisation of the marriage to the registrar.”
The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which amends the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. Before this, only the District Marriage Registration Officer (DMRO) was authorised to register the marriages in the state. But now the government will have to appoint an additional district marriage registration officer (DMRO) and block marriage registration officer to register marriages.
According to news agency ANI, Ashok Lahoti, MLA of BJP said, “It will be a black day for the assembly if this bill is passed. Does the assembly permit us to unanimously allow child marriages? By a show of hands, we will be permitting child marriages. The bill will write a black chapter in the history of the assembly.”
In the debate, Shanti Dhariwal, Rajasthan parliamentary affairs minister argued that the registration of child marriage does not say that they will consider it valid. Dhariwal said, “You say that child marriages will be validated. Nowhere does this amendment say that such marriages will be valid. A marriage certificate is a legal document, in the absence of which a widow won’t receive the benefit of any govt scheme.”
Sanyam Lodha, Independent MLA, said that the bill, “justifies child marriage, it is wrong, against the people. There is now an abundant of people who educate their children and don’t like child marriages. But if you justify child marriage, they will send a wrong marriage before the nation. The Rajasthan Assembly will be humiliated before the entire nation.”
BJP along with individual MLAs were seen arguing on the same. Entire opposition walked out of the assembly calling it a ‘black day’ for Rajasthan that such illegal marriages are being justified by government itself.