Vijayawada

Inquiry ordered into child marriage performed by officials

CWC, SCPCR and NGO officials attended marriage reception of the minor

Krishna District Collector A.Md. Imtiyaz has ordered an inquiry into the marriage of a minor girl, who was an inmate of a registered Child Care Institution (CCI).

The girl was reportedly aged 17 years when her marriage was performed at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Vaarla Devastanam in Vijayawada.

Officials of Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Krishna and West Godavari districts, and members of AP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (AP SCPCR) reportedly attended the minor girl’s marriage reception, celebrated at the home, located at Hanuman Junction.

Missing complaint

According to sources, the Vijayawada Two Town police, who registered a ‘girl missing’ case rescued a 16-year-old girl on June 29, 2018. Police produced the girl before the CWC, Krishna district, who ordered sending the girl in an open shelter in the city.

Later, the girl was shifted to a CCI, run by an NGO, at Hanuman Junction. However, after a few months, the CWC reportedly ordered the release of the girl saying she attained majority and she was handed over to her maternal uncle, who performed her marriage on April 27, 2019.

Following a complaint lodged by a private person alleging that the CWC had not followed the procedure and did not verify the girl’s age while handing over the minor girl to her family members, who performed the child marriage, an enquiry has been ordered.

During preliminary enquiry conducted by the Juvenile Welfare department officials, it was proved that the girl was 17 years old (at the time of marriage) as per her school certificates.

“Under Presumption and Determination of Age, Section. 94 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, age of a child should be determined through the SSC certificate, other school certificates or the date of birth certificate issued by a panchayat or municipality. But, the rule was not followed”, the complainant alleged.

The Collector has ordered for a detailed inquiry into the child marriage, with a four-member team of the district officials.

The team will inquiry on the age of the girl, how her age was determined, role of CWC and who were behind the marriage, an officer said.

Officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare department rescued 539 minors, including 537 girls, in Krishna district in the last few years and stopped child marriages.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:39:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/inquiry-ordered-into-child-marriage-performed-by-officials/article28236863.ece

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