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Sarpanch responsible for stopping child marriage: Rajasthan HC

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 17-05-2024
Sarpanch responsible for stopping child marriage: Rajasthan HC Rajasthan 5 min read

In a step to prevent child marriage in Rajasthan, a division bench of the Rajasthan High Court has passed an order directing the state government to take steps to prevent child marriage in the state. The High Court also said that the sarpanch and the panchayat members of the village where the child marriage takes place will be held responsible. 

The order of the High Court comes on the eve of the Akshay Tritiya festival, which is being celebrated on 10 May this year. Most child marriages in the state are performed on the occasion of the Akshay Tritiya festival.

Rajasthan High Court Order on Child Marriage 

The division bench of the high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on child marriage in the state. A list was submitted to the court by the petitioner where child marriage was scheduled in the state during the Akshay Trittiya. 

The court appreciated the effort of the state administration in reducing the number of child marriages in the state but said that a lot needs to be done.

The High Court observed that under the  Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Rules 1996, it is the duty of the  Sarpanch of the village to restrict child marriage in the village.

The court said that it would be the responsibility of the Sarpanch and the panchayat member of the village mentioned in the list to prevent child marriage.

The court directed the state government that the  Sarpanch and panch should be sensitised and informed that they will be held responsible under section 11 of The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 if they  fail to prevent child marriages.” 

Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006

In India, the  Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006 stipulates the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys. The minimum marriage age for girls is 18 years, and for boys, it is 21 years. If anyone marries below the minimum age, then the marriage is not illegal, but the law provides punishment for those who perform, permit or promote child marriage.

Child Marriage in India

  • The latest data on child marriage in India has been provided by the  National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5  Some of the important highlights are as follows:
  • Child marriage in the country has decreased from 47.4 per cent in 2005–06 to 26.8 per cent in 2015–16, a 21 per cent decline in the last 10 years.
  • In the last five years, child marriage has declined by 3.5 per cent.
  • Higher levels of child marriage were reported in girls with no or below primary-level education. 
  • Amongst the girls with no education, 48 per cent of girls were married below 18 years of age, as compared to only 4 per cent  among those who attained higher education
  • The highest child marriage was observed amongst the  Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes populations. 26 per cent of the marriages in these communities are performed below the stipulated legal age.
  • West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura were amongst the top three states where the prevalence of child marriage was above the national average. More than 40 per cent of the women aged 20-24 years married below 18 in these three states. 
  • The other five states where child marriage is above national averages are Jharkhand, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana.


Answer: Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006.

Answer: Rajasthan High Court.

Answer: Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Rules 1996.

Answer: West Bengal

Answer: Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste.
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