The very spirit of Constitution of India provides justice political, social and economic. The Constitution of India is gender equal and is based on the very foundation of Social Justice. Despite this fact, the Constitution of India also provides a space to the Legislative organ of the Government to manifest and legislate separate laws for women and children under Article 15(3). Although the Constitution of India does not provide the marriage age in India but it empowers the Parliament of India to formulate laws regarding marriage and fixing the marriage age in India.

Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India: Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Special Marriage Act, 1954, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 in all these acts the marriageable age to be 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. Article-14 of the Constitution of India fetches out the doctrine of Equality before Law but when the legislature is to decide the marriageable age in India then the question arises ‘Where is this equality?’ as the marriageable age in India are not equal for either genders.

Even the Law Commission of India many a times has recommended the legilature to make the marriageable age uniform for both men and women.

In the Consultation paper 'Reform of Family Law', the panel recommended: "if a universal age for the majority is recognised, and that grants all citizens the right to choose their governments, surely, they must then be also considered capable of choosing their spouses".

When there is in the situation of legislating marriageable age such a huge discrimination can be witnessed and no question ever upraised in denial for the same. Then we can frame out that how the equality essentially works with its splintered limbs. The Indian Constitution always strains on equality amongst both men and women but when it comes to decide the marriage age in India then the doctrine of equality is set aside.

What is the Legal Age of Marriage in India?

India is a land rich in heritage and contains various types of communities and provides land to all religions and thereby since there are no secular norms over marriageable age thereby various personal laws are being legislated by the Parliament of India to determine the marriageable age in different religions.

The inequality in deciding the marriageable age for a female keeping the marriage age for a female lower than that of a male depicts the patriarchal mentality of the legislatures and also the masculine thinking process of the society that this inequality remained unquestioned.

The females in India especially in the remote areas face several problems due to lack of opportunities and proper facilities. The Females in tribal areas are still suffering from enormous social evils and cultural disregards. It is hard for a female when on one side there exists the evil of child marriage where the female herself is not mentally, physically or sexually ready to get cohabited by a male who many a times is of a huge age-gap, the girls are forced to get married at a young age which rendering to law is not erroneous but if we go by the integrity then it comes out that a girl of 18 years is not grown enough to get married.

The arrange marriage custom or the will of the family or the elder’s pressure sometimes take a very cruel face and when the child doesn’t follow what the heads of the families say and goes against their will it extends to the limits of honour killing and love-jihad all these terms are as worse as they sound but then too it is not the end of it. The marriage which remained a sacrament earlier has begun to take the outline of the misery of the society.

How to curb or curtail?

Coming onto the measures that how could all these subjects be fixed then here is the solution to all the problems if the minimum age for marriage for females is equalized with that of males marriageable age then first of all it bring forth the notion of equality which further requires that the rules should be effectively and efficiently implemented. Further, special team should be formed to inspect into the protocols and rules for proper implementation of laws and the abiding procedures.

Even in the Dowry Prohibition Act there is a provision for appointment of a Dowry Protection Officer to safeguard and inspect the expenses involved in marriages.

In order to get the marriageable age equalized for both men and women, the women are required to raise their voice against society that forces a female to marry early dropping out of the schools. Even the educational institutions should from the early age teach the students especially the females that nobody has the right to get them married against their will and she herself has the authority to decide her future and take her life decisions by herself and there is no question or duty of the female child to get married in order for the family’s honour.

The laws should specifically mention that the family’s interference in the marriage of the child against his/her will is not allowed and whosoever does it shall be punished and prohibited from doing so.