court marriage age boy and girl 2023

Court Marriage Age Boy and Girl 2023

Court Marriage Age in India

Short answer is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys in all communities and religions. And Remember Child Marriage is Crime in India. Marriage holds immense social significance in India, and its legal framework plays a crucial role in governing this institution. Knowing the legal age for marriage is essential for both individuals and society. In this article, we’ll explore the relevant laws, implications, and factors to consider:

  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, sets the legal age for court marriage and other marriages in India as 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. This applies across all communities and religions.
  • Child marriage (marrying below the legal age) is illegal and punishable by law.
  • While personal laws and customs allow some exceptions, adhering to the PCMA is paramount.

Impact and Considerations:

  • The legal age protects individuals from child marriage, promoting rights, well-being, and informed consent.
  • Early marriage hinders education, career opportunities, and personal development.
  • Factors beyond legal age play a role: emotional maturity, financial stability, and physical/mental well-being.

Additional Insights:

  • Scientific perspective: While no “best age” exists, research highlights emotional maturity and personal development as key factors.
  • National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data: Reveals a decrease in child marriage but also regional disparities.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Addresses common concerns about age, readiness, and implications.


  • Legal compliance is crucial, but consider personal readiness beyond the legal age.
  • Seek professional legal counsel for specific questions or complexities.
  • Raise awareness about child marriage and support initiatives to protect individuals’ rights.


As per Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, sets the legal age for court marriage and other marriages in India as 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. This applies across all communities and religions.

Understanding the legal age of marriage and its implications empowers individuals and encourages responsible decisions while upholding legal and social norms.

Why in News

The Prime Minister, during his address to the nation on the 74th Independence Day, announced that the central government has set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age of marriage for women, which is currently 18.

Government Committee Examines Raising Minimum Age of Marriage for Women

In June 2020, India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development established a committee, led by prominent lawyer Jaya Jaitely, to explore the potential benefits of raising the minimum age of marriage for women. This initiative was sparked by concerns over maternal health outcomes and nutritional levels.

The committee’s key focus is to investigate the correlations between marriage and motherhood with the well-being of mothers and their children. This includes examining how factors like timing of marriage and pregnancy impact health indicators like maternal mortality rate (MMR), infant mortality rate (IMR), total fertility rate (TFR), sex ratio at birth (SRB), and child sex ratio (CSR).

One central question the committee will grapple with is the possibility of raising the minimum age of marriage for women from its current 18 years to 21 years. This potential change has sparked significant debate, with considerations including potential impacts on individual rights, cultural norms, and social dynamics.

By comprehensively analyzing the complex interplay between marriage age, motherhood, and various health and demographic indicators, the committee aims to inform potential policy changes that could improve the health and well-being of mothers and children in India.

The Crucial Connection: Unveiling the Link Between Age at Marriage and Child Nutrition

A compelling study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2019 unveiled a crucial link between a mother’s age at marriage and the nutritional well-being of her children. The research findings shed light on how early marriage can be detrimental to child health, highlighting the importance of delaying marriage until later adolescence or adulthood.

The study compared the nutritional outcomes of children born to mothers from different age groups. Here’s what it revealed:

  • Children born to mothers aged 10-19 (adolescent mothers) were 5% more likely to be stunted (shorter than their age peers) compared to those born to mothers aged 20-24 (young adults), and a staggering 11% more likely to be stunted than children born to mothers aged 25 or older (adult mothers).
  • The prevalence of low weight in adulthood was also 10% higher among children born to adolescent mothers compared to those born to adult mothers.

While the age of marriage stood out as a significant factor, the study acknowledged other contributing elements that could affect child nutrition:

  • Lower education levels: Teenage mothers often have limited educational attainment, restricting their access to knowledge and resources essential for optimal child nutrition practices.
  • Worsened economic status: Early marriage frequently coincides with limited economic opportunities, further hindering the ability to provide adequate nutrition for children.

However, the study went beyond merely identifying these vulnerabilities. It concluded with a beacon of hope, highlighting a “promising approach” to improve maternal and child nutrition:

  • Promoting later marriage: Encouraging girls to delay marriage until their late teens or early twenties allows them to complete their education, acquire financial security, and gain maturity, all of which can contribute to better nurturing practices.
  • Delaying first birth: Aligning the age of first marriage with a later age for first birth ensures mothers have ample time for personal development and resource accumulation, benefiting both their own health and that of their children.
  • Investing in girls’ education: Empowering girls through education equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about their health and the well-being of their children, including adopting optimal nutritional practices.

By addressing these key areas, we can create a ripple effect of positive change. Delaying marriage, promoting education, and ensuring responsible parenthood empower mothers to nurture healthy and thriving children, paving the way for a healthier future generation.

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