CHENNAI: Holding that a Jamath (congregation of Muslims) is bound by an order of divorce duly passed by a competent civil court, the Madras High Court directed one such congregation to make an entry of a divorce in their register so that the concerned woman can decide on her future course of action.
Passing orders on a petition filed by a Muslim woman and her husband against a lower court order, Justice RMT Teekaa Raman said the wife should also be given the option of marking her divorce decree (passed by the court) in the Jamath register. “... I feel that the woman’s right in the stated situation cannot be denied on the ground of being a woman,” he affirmed, adding that declaration of marital status is a right of a woman.
“The order of decree of dissolution of marriage passed by the family court is binding upon the Jamath and thus I find that, in exercise of powers conferred upon this Court under sections 482 of CrPC, this Court directs the Jamath of Bohra to register the decree of divorce so as to enable the wife to decide future course of action.” He further said it is left open to the Jamath to decide the future course of action regarding the procedure in matters of this kind.
The case is related to a Muslim woman, Sakina, and one Abizar N Rangawala. Their marriage was solemnised in 2005. They belong to the Bohra community and have two children. They got separated through pronouncement of Talaaq in 2011. Later, the marriage was dissolved by a decree of divorce by the Second Additional Principal Family Court in Chennai.
Sakina had also filed a petition before the VII Metropolitan Magistrate Court seeking monthly maintenance charges under Domestic Violence Act. The Magistrate held the husband and his father guilty of domestic violence and they were fined Rs 1,000 each. The Magistrate had also fixed maintenance charges, in addition to Rs 10 lakh for physical and mental injury.
During hearing, the counsel for Sakina stated that the divorce decree was not registered in the Jamath register as Abizar did not inform it. While he got remarried and had two children, Sakina is unable to decide on her future course of action. Justice Teekaa Raman reduced the compensation from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh payable within two months and confirmed the other maintenance charges as ordered by the lower courts.