Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bihar MLA in 'child marriages' row

PATNA: An independent MLA from Bihar is in the eye of a controversy for allegedly providing material help for organising the mass marriage of 38 "minor" couples at Dehri-on-sone in Rohtas district last month. The state Commission for Women has asked the district administration to produce the newly-weds before it for age verification. "We have asked the Rohtas district administration to produce the 38 couples who were married at a mass marriage function held at Jharkhandi temple in Dehri-on- sone on April 18 before it in Patna on May 18," the Commission's chairperson Manju Prakash told PTI on Friday. Pradip Kumar Joshi, the MLA from Dehri who had trounced RJD veteran and former minister Illiyas Hussain in the last assembly polls, allegedly provided material help for organising the marriages.

Stating that the Commission took action after coming across news report of the mass marriage of under-aged boys and girls, Prakash said the age of all 38 couples would be ascertained by a medical board that would be constituted by the body. On the basis of the medical board's findings, a notice would served on the MLA if necessary, she said. Prakash said the Rohtas district welfare officer, responsible for checking such unlawful marriages, has also been asked to appear before the Commission to provide an explanation.


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