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Bangladesh Cabinet approves law to stop child marriage

Sep 15, 2014

The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Dhaka: The Bangladeshi Cabinet today approved in principle the draft of the "Early Marriage Prevention Act, 2014" with proposal for stringent punitive action against all persons involved with the early marriage.

The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The law proposed for enhancement of both the monetary and physical punishment of the persons involved with the early marriage, cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting Bhuiyan said the law proposed for two years' of imprisonment and Taka 50,000 fine against a male person and Taka 50,000 fine in case of a female.

He said the bride and the bridegroom, their guardians and orgainizers of the marriage would be make responsible for an early marriage.

The government would constitute early marriage prevention committee comprising civil society members, NGO representatives and government officials at district, upazila and union level for prevention of early marriage.

Musharraf Hossain said, executive magistrates would execute the law and Family Courts will deal with the matters of cancellation of a marriage.

Under the law proposed law, girls under 18 years and boys under 21 years would not be eligible for marriage. However, the cabinet suggested reducing the age limit considering the country's socio-economic condition, cabinet secretary said.

The cabinet secretary said the cabinet in today's meeting also approved a proposal for one percent surcharge on the total amount of the service given through using SIM or RIM card of the mobile operators.

From the surcharge, every year the government would earn revenue of Taka 140 crore which would be used for education and healthcare services in the public sector, the cabinet secretary said.

The cabinet also approved in principle the draft of the "Customs Act, 2014", which will be a revised and up-date version of the existing law of 1969.

The draft of the new act has been prepared incorporating all previous amendments and international rules, cabinet secretary said.

However, the 'Customs Act' would come into effect in 2016 as it needs huge preparatory measures including modification of other related laws and rules and formulation of a number of new laws in some cases, the cabinet secretary said.

SOURCE: BSS

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