In this case, a 16-year-old Muslim girl child was taken in for care by the Social Welfare Department on the grounds that her parents were arranging her marriage, which given her age was contrary to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (the “Prohibition of Child Marriage Act”). 

The petitioner sought the return of the child and issuance of a writ of mandamus, preventing the respondents from interfering with any marriage permitted by the Muslim Personal Law. Personal laws are intended to reflect specific religious ideology and apply only to members of the respective religious group. Under Muslim Personal law, a girl is permitted to marry when she attains puberty or after the age of 15 years without parental consent. The minimum age for marriage under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (“Child Marriage Act”) is 18 years for a girl. The petitioner argued that the Child Marriage Act was improper and illegal and therefore should be deemed void insofar as Muslims were concerned due to the conflict with the Muslim Personal Law. As a result, the petitioner sought an order that the respondents would not interfere with any marriage solemnized under the Muslim Personal Law.  

In an interim hearing, the Court heard that there was no complaint regarding her treatment at home or in the provision of food and shelter. The child was also willing to return to her parents. Her parents undertook not to perform the marriage prior to the final decision of the Court. As a result, the child was permitted to return home with her parents.