Central Government supports abolishment of triple talaq

Central Government has decided to oppose triple talaq by stating that dignity of women cannot be compromised and practices like triple Talaq are against the principles of equality and dignity enshrined in the Constitution of India.

In the 28-page affidavit government of India said that validity of polygamy and triple talaq should be seen in the light of gender justice. Central Government also highlighted that around 20 Islamic countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh have regulated matrimonial laws. This indicates that these practices in question are not integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practice. The Government also submitted that every citizen of India under Article 14 of Constitution of India embraces equality and any practice by which women are left socially, financially, emotionally vulnerable or subject to whims and caprices of men are incompatible with the letter and spirit of Article 14.

Earlier, All India Muslim Personal Law Board had told the Supreme Court that personal laws cannot be re-written in the name of reforms. Since, triple Talaq is a part of ‘personal law’, Central Government cannot modify them. The AIMPLB further claimed said marriage is a contract in which both parties are not physically equal.

This is a major and landmark step taken by the government towards abolishing triple Talaq and practice of polygamy under Muslim personal law. This could also lead to implementation of Universal Civil Code, which has been pending since a long time.

We will keep you updated with all the developments in this case. You can read our other articles on Uniform Civil Code here, here and here.

Delhi High Court – “Roka is a social evil which needs to be condemned”

Roka is a traditional ceremony which symbolizes union of families of the couple to be. It indicates that search of the families for the spouse of their child is finally over. It is a small ceremony attended by the close ones where gifts are exchanged in lieu of finalizing the union and to fix a date of marriage. This generally indicates the start of courtship period.

While hearing an appeal against a decree of divorce[1], Division Bench comprising of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Pratibha Rani observed in the judgment that ‘Roka’ is a social evil and should be condemned as it treats the couple as a kind of a chattel.

The bench while setting aside the order of family court held that neither cruelty nor desertion had been proved by the husband and it was his drunkenness and refusal to take anti-depression medicines which has led to the troubles in the marriage.

[1] MAT.APP. (F.C.) 4/2013 – Rajdeep v Gurmeet Singh

Wife is entitled to lead standard of life similar to that of the husband: Bombay High Court

In the latest development for deciding maintenance Bombay High Court has ruled that a lavish lifestyle and luxury spending along with excessive use of Credit Card shows the strong financial capacity of the spouse and cannot be ignored while deciding interim maintenance of the wife.

Bombay High Court has overruled the decision of the Family Court where wife was awarded interim maintenance of meager INR 15000 per month for covering daughter’s expenses and nothing for herself. Justice Ranjit More, in Amee Sharan Desai v. Sharan Sanjeev Desai, held that wife is entitled to lead the standard of life similar to that of the husband.

This is contrary to the stand taken by the Family Court where it was held that since wife had independent source of earnings, there was no need of maintenance for her whereas for their monthly maintenance of INR 15000 was decided after taking note of the annual income.

Justice More observed that documents relied upon by the wife show very strong financial capacity of the husband and should not be ignored while calculating interim maintenance. He further elaborated that it is important to see the status of the parties, their needs, the capacity of the husband to pay having regard to his reasonable expenses for his own maintenance and of those he is obliged under the law.

Divorced Muslim women entitled to maintenance: Bombay High Court

In a landmark judgment (Rehana Sultana Begum v. Hashmi Syed Mujib[1]) passed by the Bombay High Court, a Muslim lady has received relief in form of maintenance from her husband who had divorced her. Bombay High Court has held that if the parties are governed by Mohammedan Law and provisions of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 are applicable, then maintenance is to be paid till the time lady gets remarried.

In, this case Bombay High Court overturned the Magistrate order and held that lady is entitled for maintenance from the date of filing of the application i.e. 22/09/1989 bringing here struggle of 27 years to end.

[1] Criminal Writ Petition No. 544 of 2003

Query – I, Christian by religion, have married a Hindu girl in a temple as per Hindu rites. There is no registration of marriage and neither of us have converted to other religion. Are we legally married?

No, this marriage is not valid. Since, this marriage has been performed as per Hindu rites but Hindu Marriage Act does not apply to a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew unless it is their custom to get married as per Hindu customs and traditions.

So, in order to make your marriage legally binding you will need to register it under Special Marriage Act by visiting Magistrate of the city where you are residing. Alternatively, one of you can convert and solemnize the marriage as per Hindu or Christian traditions.

Recently in 2015, Madras High Court in Tamildevan v Anthony Albert and Others[1] held that a marriage that was neither solemnized in accordance with the provisions of the Christian Marriage Act nor registered in accordance with the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, will not be legally valid.

[1] 2015 SCC Online Mad 11771