New Delhi: A young Rajasthani teen has proved in court that she was illegally married off as a minor, following which her marriage was officially annulled.
19-year-old Sushila Bishnoi showed laudable intelligence, after initially finding it difficult to submit evidence that she was indeed married off as a minor. Bishnoi was aided by a child rights activist, Kriti Bharti, in her battle and the evidence recovered proved to be the only strong evidence in the case.
Activist Bharti, who assisted Bishnoi in the case, explained that the teen’s unlawful husband had been congratulated by several friends on his Facebook page. Bharti, who belongs to the Sarathi Trust, has been responsible for annulling many such child marriage cases.
After thoroughly inspecting the new-found evidence, the court declared the marriage as invalid on Monday.
It has been revealed that the couple was married secretly in Barmer district in 2010 when both of them were just 12 years old.
As per legacy tradition in Rajasthan, girls are often married off at a young age but are required to stay with their parents till they turn 18. Bishnoi’s parents were forcing her to move to her husband’s house but she had other plans.
“I wanted to study but my family and my in-laws wanted me to live with a drunkard,” she told AFP, adding that it was about “life and death”.
Considering the fact that minor marriages are common in Rajasthan, law authorities must take steps to curb such incidents. Such cases are expected to reduce significantly after the Supreme Court declared that sex with a minor is akin to rape even after marriage.
The landmark ruling has ended a legacy loophole around the menace of child marriage in the country.
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