On Friday, the Rajasthan assembly passed a bill to amend an act on mandatory registration of marriages, including child marriages. However, the decision has been not much welcomed by the Opposition with BJP walking out.

The assembly passed the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which amends the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009. Under the act, officials claimed that information on child marriage must be provided by their parents or guardians within 30 days of the wedding.

Calling it a ‘black day’, the BJP legislators walked out of the House. The legislators questioned the need for the registration of child marriages and demanded the withdrawal of the bill. Responding to the BJP, Congress remarked that the decision was taken based on a Supreme Court order.

“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,” BJP MLA Ashok Lahoti said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the controversy, Shanti Dhariwal, the Rajasthan parliamentary affairs minister clarified that the amendment does not say child marriages ‘will be valid’.

The bill passed in the Rajasthan assembly will now allow the government to appoint an additional district marriage registration officer (DMRO) and block the marriage registration officer to register marriages. Earlier, only the DMRO was authorised to register the marriages in the state.

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