Anti-conversion laws enacted in various states are under scrutiny for their ambiguity and the lack of valid justifications for their existence. Vague terms used in them pose significant challenges to the fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution. In this backdrop, the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand anti-conversion laws. However, it refused to stay these controversial legislations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi In his seventh Independence Day speech at Red Fort, stressed upon several aspects about the development of women in India including his government’s resolve to revise the minimum age at which women can legally get married in India. He has announced that the central government has set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age of marriage for women, which are currently 18. Though there is ambiguity in available data, the recent trends show that in nearly one-third of marriages in India women are aged less than 21.
Recently, there has been a rise of honor killings in the country and this has led the government as well as the Supreme Court to step forward in stopping this heinous crime. Reportedly, more than 1,000 young people in India have been killed every year in the name of honour which is linked to forced marriages and the country needs to introduce stringent legislation to effectively deal with these heinous crimes.
Recently, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 (Triple Talaq bill) was passed by the Lok Sabha. The bill is humanitarian consideration for Muslim Women suffering from triple talaq. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract jail term 3 years and a fine for a man.
However, there is a standoff in the Rajya Sabha for its passage due to the contention from opposition parties and Muslim community leaders who are sticking to their stand against the bill mentioning that there is no need for the bill since the instant triple talaq has already been banned by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court recently heard the petition seeking the nullification of Section 497 in Indian Penal Code (IPC) mentioning that it only punishes married man for having extra-marital relations with a married woman.