Case Brief on Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India (Uniform Marriage Age Case)

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India (Uniform Marriage Age Case)

Date: February 20th, 2023

Court: Supreme Court 


On 2nd February 2021, the Supreme Court issued notice on a petition seeking the transfer of pending petitions before the Rajasthan and Delhi High Courts. The petition was filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who is an advocate and a politician. He was represented by Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra.

Issues Involved:

   1. Whether personal laws          governing differences in marriage age are violative of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950?2. Whether personal laws governing differences in marriage age is discriminatory on the basis of gender?

Petitioner’s Arguments:

The petition is claimed to have been filed in order to avoid the possibility of conflicting views with multiple litigations. The plea for transfer was originally filed on 26th October, 2020. The petitioner argues that the distinction in stipulated marriage ages for men and women is based on patriarchal stereotypes. Men are allowed to get married at the age of 21 while women are permitted at age 18.

The petition specifically highlighted,  Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 – Section 60(1);  Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 – Section 3(1)(c); Special Marriage Act, 1954 – Section 4(c); Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Section 5(iii) and  Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 – Section 2(a).


On April 5th 2020, the Union was granted four-weeks’ time by the Registrar to file its counter affidavit. On June 29th 2021, the Court heard a plea challenging provisions that prescribe different ages for marriage eligibility and tagged it with the transfer petition.

On February 20th, 2023, a Bench comprising CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justices P.S, Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala dismissed the petition, stating that Parliament must decide the issue, not the Supreme Court.