By Sujata B. Shakeel and Anindita D. Choudhury in New Delhi
Shantha Sinha, chairperson, National Council for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), says: “We can’t change the personal law, but there should be a universal law which goes beyond religions.” Zoya Hassan, professor, department of political science, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), agrees. “There is a minimum age for marriage and that should be followed irrespective of religion. The most important thing is that there should be compulsory registration of marriages. Once you do that, you also ensure that no one below the minimum age gets married,” she says. That’s often not the case.