A teenager in Hyderabad who was married to man twice her age has been served legal notice to perform her conjugal duties, NDTV reported today, and the police can't take action because child marriage is "not automatically illegal."
The 16-year-old student was told that her aunt is dying and emotionally blackmailed into marrying her 35-year-old cousin. The teenager asked that she be allowed to sit for her Class X exam and study further. She told the news channel that she was physically and sexually abused almost daily.
NDTV further reported that after the teenager returned home, her parents asked her husband's family to return the ₹1 lakh dowry and gold which they had given him. The husband said that he would spend the money on lawyers instead.
"The accused is not being booked. Instead, a legal notice has been sent to this 15-year-old girl for restitution of conjugal rights," Achyutha Rao, a Child Rights Commission member, told the news channel.
The teenager, who is seeking help from activists to get out of the marriage, told NDTV, "I want to study and do well on my own merit."
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