news Saturday, June 06, 2015 - 05:30
In what could be seen as a landmark verdict, a family court in Mumbai has asked a Muslim man not to marry for a second time until he had settled dues with his first wife. A report in The Times of India mentions that Judge Swati Chauhan asked Dr Anees Ali (name changed) “not to perform another marriage” until an alternate accommodation was arranged for his wife Noor (name changed) and her maintenance charges “heard, decided and fully complied with”. “The law and the religion both do not permit a Muslim man to perform another marriage as of a right by defeating and delaying the rights of his first wife,” the judge said in the order. Thirty-four-year-old Noor had moved court when she found out that 45-year-old Anees had posted an advertisement on an online marriage portal which said he was “desirous of marrying an unmarried young girl in the age group of 18-25 years”. Noor said that Anees’ marriage would “frustrate and defeat her lawful rights”. In court, Anees’ advocate argued that both parties were under the Muslim Personal Law and that the husband could not be forbidden from performing four marriages. Noor’s advocate Neelofar Akhtar argued that a husband can be forbade by law and religion if he is defeating the rights of his first wife. She said that the four marriages is the “end product of misrepresentation of the holy Quran”. Citing the surah nisa ayat 3 and 129, Akhtar reportedly argued that while a Muslim man could perform four marriages, it was subject to restrictions. The judge said that after a careful reading of the Quran, it is understood that a remarriage in the case of a Muslim man can happen only if the man is equitable to both women. The judge observed that in this particular case, Anees had been unable to provide suitable accommodation for Noor and had kept her away from her home and sons strategically. He had also “very conveniently” remained absent from hearings. “In such a situation, if the respondent performs another marriage, the rights of the petitioner would definitely be defeated," the judge said, adding, that “it is a fit case” to pass the direction.

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