The State government on Thursday told a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court that it would amend the circular directing marriages between males aged below 21 and girls aged below 18 but over 16 belonging to the Muslim community.

Advocate General K.P. Dandapani made the submission when three writ petitions against the circular came up for hearing before the Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Vinod Chandran. The Advocate General sought two weeks to amend the circular.

The petitions were filed by the Kozhikode-based Punerjeni Charitable Trust, the Viswa Hindu Parishad State Committee, and the Kerala Yukthivadi Sanghom.

The petitioners contended that the circular was against the laws.

It had been issued with an oblique motive. It went against the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.

In fact, the circular perpetuated the social evil of child marriages, the petitioners said. By issuing the order, the government had deviated from its constitutional and statutory duties.

The government should have taken steps to implement the provisions of the Act instead of issuing such illegal circulars.

The contention that personal laws of Muslims, Christians, and those in other communities allowed such kind of marriages was untenable after the enactment of the Act which fixed the marriageable age of a person. All India Lawyers Union State committee secretary B. Rajendran had also filed a petition challenging the circular.

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