As per National Crimes Record Bureau data, a total number of 222 cases were registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 during the year 2013. The number of cases registered was 169 in 2012 and 113 in the year 2011 under the Act. In 2012, 40 persons were convicted while in 2011, 76 persons were convicted under this Act.
The reasons for child marriage are complex and include a mindset that considers girl child as a burden. Social customs, tradition, illiteracy, poverty, low status of women in society, lack of awareness about consequences of child marriage are some of the reasons that encourage the practice of child marriage.
There is no proposal at present to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The States are being regularly pursued for its effective implementation. Further, State Governments are requested to take special initiative to delay marriage by coordinated efforts on Akha Teej—the traditional day for such marriages. Advertisements in the press and electronic media educating peoples about the issue of Child Marriage etc also being taken up. Platforms such as the International Women’s Day and the National Girl Child Day are used to create awareness on issues related to women and to bring to the centre stage issues such as sex selective abortions and child marriage. Through the Sabla programme of this Ministry, adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years are imparted training with regard to legal rights of women.
This information was given by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development in reply to an unstarred question in Lok Sabha recently.