Ujjain mayor in the dock for marrying minor son to teen


Bhopal : The mayor of Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain town is in trouble for allegedly getting her 18-year-old adopted son married to a girl who is not yet 15.

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The State Women's Commission in Madhya Pradesh has submitted a report to the government alleging that Soni Maihar, a Congress supported candidate, be removed from the post of mayor.

The incident came to light when Rajni Kotwani, a councillor in Ujjain, raised the matter in a meeting of the District Planning Committee in April. She later filed a complaint with the State Women's Commission, prompting panel member Sushma Arya to visit Ujjain to probe the matter.

"Soni Maihar's adopted son, who was married on March 27, was found to be under the legal age in an inquiry conducted by us and we have recommended her removal from the post of mayor," said Arya.

She added that the son, Sonu, was 18 and the girl, Laxmi, would be 15 only two months from now. The legal age for marriage in India is 21 for boys and 18 for girls.

While Sonu stayed with the mayor, Laxmi is the daughter of her gardener.

The district administration had also looked into the matter and found the couple to be minors.

"The mayor's adopted son, Sonu (18) married Laxmi (under 15) between March 27 and 29. The report has been submitted to the district collector with a recommendation that a private complaint be filed against Maihar in a competent court," said sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Manoj Pushpa.

According to Ujjain collector Neeraj Mandloi, if the original complainant Rajni Kotwani does not move the court, the state government would do so and provide all the evidence in its possession.

Though the wedding card with her name had been received by a large number of people, Maihar said she had nothing to do with the marriage or the invitations.