New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a PIL alleging a rise in child marriages in the country, saying that those involved in child marriages cannot be the solution to the problem through prosecution. The Supreme Court on Wednesday was unimpressed by the Centre's affidavit which said separate awareness campaigns and training programs were being conducted in different states.

Speeches do not change the ground situation

The court said that these programs and speeches do not change the ground situation. It is noteworthy that the NGO 'Society for Enlightenment and Voluntary Action' had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court in 2017 saying that the law preventing child marriage is not being implemented in its original spirit.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Mishra heard the arguments of Additional Solicitor Aishwarya Bhati and the NGO's lawyer on behalf of the Centre before reserving their verdict. The bench has asked both the parties to give suggestions in this regard.

Child marriage is a social issue

The CJI said that he is not here to criticize anyone. This is a social issue and whatever the government is doing in this direction, the law officers will have to give their opinion on it. While Additional Solicitor Aishwarya Bhati told the bench about the current situation and said that cases of child marriage have been seen more in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Assam.

Five states and union territories like Dadranagar Haveli, Mizoram, and Nagaland have not reported a single case of child marriage. Out of 34 states and union territories, only 29 have given data on child marriage.