Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while speaking at the ongoing Assam Legislative Assembly budget session on March 20 said that the government will act tough against cases of child marriage.
Addressing the House on the seventh day of the ongoing budget session, Assam CM said that the government has earmarked a budget of Rs 200 crore with a target of making the state free of incident of child marriage by the end of 2026.
CM Sarma further elucidated that no one will be left out of the purview of the law and that anyone caught in the act of marrying off their wards below the legal age of marriage or forcing the girl to bear children before the age of 14 will face a jail term of 14 years. “Our government will ensure that the husband of the girl who bears the burden of motherhood under the age of 14, will face jail term of 14 years”, said CM Sarma.
While speaking on the presence of witnesses in child marriage cases, CM Sarma added that under witnesses are not required for conviction under the POCSO Act.
Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog, while announcing the Assam Budget 2023 on March 16 stated that the state reported high rates of maternal and infant mortality due to cases of child marriage. Hence an urgent and immediate solution to end this social malaise was the need of the hour.
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