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Legislation on the Right Age for Court Marriage

Procedure of Court Marriage, Types of Marriages

Rural areas in Pakistan are known as the hub of child Marriage as villagers seem not to care about the right age for Court Marriage and marry their kids off at any age they want. Little girls usually suffer the most because of this child Marriage trend in villages as men are less likely to get married unless they are settled or have a job. With time there has been a decrease in the number of child marriages in Pakistan but still, there are a few people who would go for it. Moreover, many people in Pakistan are not even aware of the right legal age of marriage. So let’s learn what the legislation says on the right age for Court Marriage and Civil Marriage in Pakistan.

Indian Legislation Marriage Restraint Act

 The movement to stop child marriages goes back to the British rule era when Hindus and Muslims were living together. Both Hindu and Muslim cultures have a history of child marriages. The one man who took the initiative to put a stop to underage marriages was Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He presented the marriage restraint act when he was part of the British India legislative assembly. The bill was introduced in 1929. Which later became part of Pakistan’s legislation as well.

The right age of court marriage for females

 Due to the increasing number of child marriages the legal authorities had to do something so they came up with the child marriage restraint act. The act states that the legal and right age of marriage for a girl is 18 years. Any girl younger than 18 years cannot marry and no one can force her to marry. If the court finds any such incident where a girl under 16 has got married they will file charges against those involved in the marriage.

The right age of marriage for the boy

People often think that the legal age of court marriage is the same for both the girl and the boy but that’s not true. The right age for a boy to get married in Pakistan according to the child marriage restraint act 2015 is 18+ years. That means if a boy who is 17 years old gets married, his marriage would not be legal according to this act.

What’s the penalty for getting involved in underage marriages?

 The 1929 Act of Child Marriages also set some punishments for those who go for child marriage or are involved in one. These punishments are as follows


  • Anybody who has not attained the lawful age of marriage, if gets married is eligible for punishment ( up to six months of imprisonment) and a fine of up to 50000Rs
  • Anyone who has been involved in a child marriage either through direct means or indirect means has to face up to 6 months of jail and has to pay a fine of around 50000 Rs.
  • Any parent or guardian (Wali) who has been proven to be involved in forcing a child marriage should go to jail for 6 months and should also pay a fine of 50000 Rs
  • There is a case study available on our site for under age court marriage in Karachi


1. Dua Zahra Under Age Court Marriage Case in Karachi
2. What does Pakistani Society Thinks About Court Marriage


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