LAHORE: A bill proposing an amendment to the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 has been approved by the Punjab Assembly. Under the new law, parents and clerics who allow the marriage of underage children will face greater penalties than they had under previous versions of the law.
Among the revisions to the law are the imposition of a six-month prison term and a fine of Rs50,000. In addition, there will be a prison sentence and fine imposed on the cleric overlooking the marriage ceremony.
Previously, parents faced a month-long prison sentence and a fine of Rs 1,000, while clerics were not penalised in any way. The changes have been made after the Punjab Assembly had, earlier this year, discussed the possibility of amendments to the law.
The bill was introduced by Khurram Jehangir Wattoo, the PPP MPA, who is also the son of Pakistan Peoples Party central Punjab president and former chief minister of Punjab Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo.
The PPPP lawmaker introduced the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2015 which was forwarded to the relevant standing committee for a report within two weeks.