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Cabinet Okays draft on “Child Marriage Prevention Act, 2016”

The cabinet today gave its final approval to the draft of "Balya Bibaha Nirodh Ain, 2016" (Child Marriage Prevention Act-2016) suggesting strict punitive actions against marriage between boys and girls who are below 21 and 18 years respectively.

Briefing reporters emerging from the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam said the draft was prepared in Bangla through revising the Child Marriage Registration Act 1929.

According to the draft, he said, a boy below 21 years of age and a girl below 18 years would be considered under-aged and would be incompetent to be locked in wedding cord and such marriages would be treated as child marriage.

The cabinet secretary said, the law, however, incorporated a new provision offering impunity to a under aged girl in her interest if the marriage is held in a special situation with prior permission of a court and consent of the parents exhausting some procedures.

The law has given the authority to the court to impose restriction voluntarily on any child marriage or upon complaint lodged by any person. In case of violation of the law a person may face six month imprisonment and penalty of Taka 10,000 or both.

In case of any false allegation, a person would get maximum six month jail or penalty of Taka 30,000 or both.

The law stipulated that a child for early marriage would have to face confinement for maximum 15 days or would have to pay Taka 5,000 as penalty and if an adult man or woman marry an underage boy or girl, he or she would face two years imprisonment and Taka one lakh fine or both in case of marrying a child.

The law kept provision of maximum two years or minimum six month jail and Taka 50,000 penalty or both for parents, marriage registrars (kazi) and other persons to be found involve in child marriage. In that case license of a marriage registrar would also be cancelled.

Birth registration certificate, national identification card, certificates of SCC or equivalent examination, JSC or Primary School Certificate or passport could be used as document for age verification.

The cabinet also gave final approval to the Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Institute Act, 2016 and list of the 22 days of public holidays for the year 2017.

The cabinet also has given nod to a proposal of the home ministry to ratify the "Agreement between Bangladesh and Russian Federation on visa-free visit for the persons holding diplomatic and official (service) passports".

The cabinet sent back the draft of the Sarkari Karmachari Ain, 2016 (Public servants Act, 2016) for further scrutiny.

At the beginning of the cabinet meeting, state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak formally handed over the AOCIO ICT Award to the Prime Minister which he recently received during AOCIO Summit in Myanmar.

Asian Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (AOCIO) conferred the award to the ICT Division of Bangladesh in the "Digital Government" category during its summit held in Myanmar on November 14-16.

The cabinet also adopted a resolution congratulating Saima Wazed Hossain Putul as she was ??elected chairperson of the International Jury Board of UNESCO-Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)