Punjab approves stricter Child Marriage Restrain Act

LAHORE: Following the opposition’s walkout over legislative issues, the Punjab Assembly on Friday took advantage of their absence and passed 11 bills into law.

Among the bills the assembly unanimously passed, is an amendment to the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, which now carries harsher punishments and fines for the Nikah Khwan who solemnizes the marriage and the brides guardian.

According to the law, the minimum age for a girl to be married is 16 and for groom is 18.

The fine and punishment for violating the law has been increased from Rs. 1000 and one month imprisonment to Rs. 50,000 and six months imprisonment.

In order to avoid any fines and punishment the Nikah Khwan has to ensure the marriage contract is properly filled and no clauses have been left blank – failure in this regard will result in a Rs. 25,000 fine and one month imprisonment.

Among the other 10 bills that were passed includes an amendment to the Punjab Partition of Immovable Property Act 2012 as well as the approval of the Family Court (amendment) Act which empowers family court to resolve matters regarding child custody and dissolution of marriage speedily, in order to protect rights of the mother and children.