Calcutta High Court Dismisses PIL Seeking Mandatory Education for Muslim Girls Before Marriage

Calcutta High Court dismisses PIL seeking mandatory Class XII education for Muslim girls before marriage, citing policy jurisdiction. Petitioner vows to continue advocacy.

In a recent development, the Calcutta High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought a decision by state authorities on a representation proposing that no Muslim girl should be permitted to marry until she passes Class XII. The bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, ruled that the representation made to the Minister of School Education cannot be entertained.

"In any event, this pertains to a policy matter. No mandamus as sought for can be issued. Dismissed," the Court asserted.

The petitioner, Nazia Elahi Khan, had approached the court, alleging that state authorities had failed to act on her representation for making it mandatory for all Muslim girls to at least pass Class XII before getting married. Khan argued that this issue significantly impacts the Islamic community at large.

"This issue affects the public at large, particularly the Islamic community," Khan stated in her plea.

She further contended that prevailing societal norms often hinder Muslim girls from pursuing education beyond a certain age, as they are encouraged to prioritize marriage over education.

"Young girls from the Muslim Community are married off when she attains the age of puberty or adolescence, which starts roughly from around the age of twelve," the petitioner asserted.

Khan emphasized that her representation, submitted on February 12, had allegedly been met with no response or action from the State, exacerbating the plight of Muslim girls and further marginalizing them.

"Such inaction has increased their suffering and marginalized them even further," she lamented.

In response to the Court's decision, Khan expressed disappointment but remained determined to pursue avenues for advocating for the rights of Muslim girls to education.

"While the Court's decision is disheartening, our fight for the education rights of Muslim girls will continue. We will explore other legal avenues and continue to raise awareness about this crucial issue," Khan asserted.