Section 2 in The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

Title: Definitions

Description: In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-- (a) "child" means a person who, if a male, has not completed twenty-one years of age, and if a female, has not completed eighteen years of age; (b) "child marriage" means a marriage to which either of the contracting parties is a child; (c) "contracting party", in relation to a marriage, means either of the parties whose marriage is or is about to be thereby solemnised; (d) "Child Marriage Prohibition Officer" includes the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer appointed under sub-section (1) of section 16; (e) "district court" means, in any area for which a Family Court established under section 3 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 (66 of 1984) exists, such Family Court, and in any area for which there is no Family Court but a city civil court exists, that court and in any other area, the principal civil court of original jurisdiction and includes any other civil court which may be specified by the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, as having jurisdiction in respect of the matters dealt with in this Act; (f) "minor" means a person who, under the provisions of the Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875), is to be deemed not to have attained his majority.

Title: Child marriages to be voidable at the option of contracting party being a child

Description: (1) Every child marriage, whether solemnised before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable at the option of the contracting party who was a child at the time of the marriage: Provided that a petition for annulling a child marriage by a decree of nullity may be filed in the district court only by a contracting party to the marriage who was a child at the time of the marriage. (2) If at the time of filing a petition, the petitioner is a minor, the petition may be filed through his or her guardian or next friend along with the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer. (3) The petition under this section may be filed at any time but before the child filing the petition completes two years of attaining majority. (4) While granting a decree of nullity under this section, the district court shall make an order directing both the parties to the marriage and their parents or their guardians to return to the other party, his or her parents or guardian, as the case may be, the money, valuables, ornaments and other gifts received on the occasion of the marriage by them from the other side, or an amount equal to the value of such valuables, ornaments, other gifts and money: Provided that no order under this section shall be passed unless the concerned parties have been given notices to appear before the district court and show cause why such order should not be passed. STATE AMENDMENT Karnataka Substitution of section 3.--In the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (Central Act 6 of 2007) (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), In section 3, after sub-section (1) the following shall be inserted, namely;-- “(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) every child marriage solemnized on or after the date of coming into force of the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka Amendment) Act, 2016 shall be void abinitio”. [Vide Karnataka Act 26 of 2017, s. 2].

Title: Provision for maintenance and residence to female contracting party to child marriage.

Description: (1) While granting a decree under section 3, the district court may also make an interim or final order directing the male contracting party to the child marriage, and in case the male contracting party to such marriage is a minor, his parent or guardian to pay maintenance to the female contracting party to the marriage until her remarriage. (2) The quantum of maintenance payable shall be determined by the district court having regard to the needs of the child, the lifestyle enjoyed by such child during her marriage and the means of income of the paying party. (3) The amount of maintenance may be directed to be paid monthly or in lump sum. (4) In case the party making the petition under section 3 is the female contracting party, the district court may also make a suitable order as to her residence until her remarriage.

Title: Custody and maintenance of children of child marriages

Description: (1) Where there are children born of the child marriage, the district court shall make an appropriate order for the custody of such children. (2) While making an order for the custody of a child under this section, the welfare and best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration to be given by the district court. (3) An order for custody of a child may also include appropriate directions for giving to the other party access to the child in such a manner as may best serve the interests of the child, and such other orders as the district court may, in the interest of the child, deem proper. (4) The district court may also make an appropriate order for providing maintenance to the child by a party to the marriage or their parents or guardians.

Title: Legitimacy of children born of child marriages

Description: Notwithstanding that a child marriage has been annulled by a decree of nullity under section 3, every child begotten or conceived of such marriage before the decree is made, whether born before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed to be a legitimate child for all purposes.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006