Taking note of state government’s failure to respond to a plea by a “minor” Muslim girl, who has challenged the Allahabad High Court order which declared her marriage void, the Supreme Court summoned the home secretary of Uttar Pradesh

The 16-year-old girl has challenged the high court order, saying that as per the Mohammedan Law, once a female attains the age of puberty, that is 15 years, she is independent to take decisions for her life and is competent to marry any one of her own choice.

When the matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices NV Ramana and Ajay Rastogi, the counsel appearing for the state, sought time to file a response to the petition.

“Let the chief secretary appear (in court). Then he will understand the seriousness of the matter,” the bench said. Later, the bench summoned the home secretary of Uttar Pradesh and directed him to personally appear before it on September 23.

The top court noted in its order that despite granting time to the state counsel for filing reply on the plea, the lawyer has not received proper instruction from the department concerned.”We are forced to compel the appearance of Secretary Home (of Uttar Pradesh) to appear personally before us on Monday (September 23),” the bench said.