MINOR EMANCIPATION LAWS AND ITS SCOPE IN INDIA
Himanshu Raj, 3rd Year Student at Chanakya National Law University, Patna
India is the second-most populous country in the world with rich cultural diversity is going through social and economical changes. Since the country is going through the development phase so certain things are changing and here for the law also. Law in India primarily evolved from customary practices and religious prescription to the modern well codified acts and laws based on a constitution. In India, we consider the child as minor until he/she crosses the age of 18. Under the majority act of 1875 certain limitations shall be there with children like they cannot enter into a contract, cannot legally separate from the parents. After attaining the age of majority they are allowed to live their life as they wish.
For the last few years, there is constant discussion and debates held on this topic that whether children should be allowed living as per their choice or not. For that here we discuss the Emancipation, as per the Cambridge Dictionary meaning of this word is that to give people social or political freedom and rights. For example, in the US minors have some rights to consent to medical procedures without parental consent or emancipation, under the doctrine of the mature minor
POSSIBILITY OF MINOR EMANCIPATION AND ITS RELATED LAWS IN INDIA
As already stated India is a country of cultural diversity and people living here are of a different mindset. The very rationale behind putting the children below the age of 18 under minor is they have not attained a sufficient level of maturity. This clearly signifies that the Indian legal system has the view that these children below the age of 18 years are not in the capacity to think what is right and what is wrong. The scenario is different in other foreign countries, their law gives the right to the children that they can legally separate from their parents, that is they can be divorce their parents. This means that many foreign countries recognize minor emancipation laws valid. We have seen that the durability of marriages in foreign countries is often less and due to this child equally suffers. Emancipation laws give them the right to choose their own life and avoid these unwanted situations.
Indians are considered to be deeply rooted in their values and tradition. We show responsibilities towards our marriage, children, and other social causes. Children in India receive better parental care than most of the countries. In India the parents have some responsibilities over their child, they should provide them with good health, education, morality. This is indicative of the fact that the situation of children and their childhood is much better than in many countries. This is the primary reason why still India is not needed for emancipation laws. This law may create chaos in the country since people living here are of different mindsets and ideologies. Further, we have an ample number of laws that ensure freedom and give the right to live with dignity. Many jurists have pointed out that there is no need for Emancipation laws if we already have provisions like Article 21 and 19.
POSITIVE ASPECTS OF MINOR EMANCIPATION AND ITS RELATED LAWS
We have discussed how this type of law is not needed in India and creates a chaotic situation but we cannot ignore their positive aspects. Being a sovereign nation we have always promoted individual liberty and choice. The Constitution of India clearly lays some provision that ensures these things in society. Supreme Court has also in many judgments upheld the individual choice. At the time when the Emancipation becomes legal for the minor, they can make their own decisions irrespective of their parent's view, they can make their own decisions.
It is unfortunate that most of the legislations related to children are only in paper and never put into due and proper implementation. We have to understand that in certain cases emancipation laws are required. For example, the children of the prisoners are made to live in the prisons along with the father or mother. The condition of the children admitted in Homes is more pathetic since either the Authorities or the Superintendent of the Home misuse the children for perverse body requirements.
The Government is always under the apprehension that any changes in these legislations should not lead to easing human trafficking. Hence the date is too far for emancipation law coming to our country. Thank you for your interest in the children.
In many cases, we have seen that due to extra pressure children at very young age gains sufficient level of maturity and understanding. We cannot ignore the fact that many children lost their parents or in any case forced to live under guardianship, aren't receiving good parental care. But due to the laws, they are forced to live under the guardianship. This minor law of emancipation will ensure their freedom and right to choose life as per their wish.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
After throughout the study we may come to the conclusion that In India emancipation laws are not required right now but we cannot disagree from the point that in certain cases it provides liberty, choice, and freedom. We have seen that in many cases where children are kept in guardianship or in prison along with his mother/father, they cannot receive good parental care. If emancipation law comes into force, this will provide the freedom to love the way of life as per their wish. From this, we may conclude that emancipation laws are required in certain cases and it will be provided only be testing the reasonableness of that child.
In India where we always promote individual liberty, we should also come up with the provisions of minor emancipation laws for certain exceptional cases.
Legal issues in pediatrics and adolescent medicine by Angela Roddey Holder, Yale University Press, 1985, page 133 Knapp, Victor (1983). International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Chapter 3. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 42. ISBN 9024727871. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  J. Anderson, Sailing Alone: Teenage Autonomy and Regimes of Childhood, 31 L. PHIL, 522, 524 (2012).
(Disclaimer- The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Child Rights Centre.)