New Delhi, Oct. 11 (PTI): Welfare schemes and "catchy slogans" are "excellent" for awareness campaigns but they must be backed by focused implementation programmes and remedial action for the betterment of the girl child, the Supreme Court said today.
"Welfare schemes and catchy slogans are excellent for awareness campaigns but they must be backed up by focused implementation programmes (and) other positive and remedial action so that the pendulum swings in favour of the girl child who can then look forward to a better future," Justice Madan B. Lokur said.
"A reading of the National Policy and the National Plan of Action for Children reveals, quite astonishingly, that even though the Government of India realises the dangers of early marriage, it is merely dishing out platitudes and has not taken any concrete step to protect the girl child from marital rape," he added.
The court said it could "only hope" that the Centre and the state governments would "intensively study and analyse" reports that suggest that sexual intercourse below the age of 18 was not advisable for a girl child because of physical, mental and societal issues.
The Supreme Court today hailed a law enacted by the Karnataka government that declared that every child marriage where the groom is below 21 years and the bride less than 18 is invalid at the outset. The court favoured all other states to follow the Karnataka law.