The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to spell out their stand on the marriage of poor Muslim girls with aged Arab nationals, which recently came to light in Hyderabad.
The court also issued a notice to the Centre, seeking its stand.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the judge pointed out that the qazis were playing a key role in the marriages, and there was need to curb their activities by enacting the law.
The judge also expressed displeasure for not considering an earlier suggestion by the High Court in 2006, which ordered for the amendment of Section 2 of the Qazis Act, 1880.
“In this era of technological advancements where new apps are available for various purposes, they can be used for instant registration of marriages and also to update the records of the Centre, state and wakf boards,"Justice Bhatt, who was hearing the case, was quoted as saying.
The case will come up for hearing again on October 30.
Last month, the Hyderabad police also rescued 12 underaged girls and busted a major racket with the arrest of 20 accused, including eight Arabs—five Omanis and three Qataris.
Marriages of minor girls from poor Muslim families to elderly Arabs is not new in Hyderabad. The well-organised racket involves middlemen in Hyderabad and those based in Gulf countries, who lure poor families with the promise to pull them out of poverty.
The racket continued to thrive with the connivance of the ‘qazis’ who perform such marriages in violation of all rules.
As part of the crackdown, the police said that they have identified more than 35 brokers in Hyderabad alone.
Four lodge owners and five brokers and three qazis were also arrested, including Chief Qazi of Mumbai, Farid Ahmed Khan, who was considered the kingpin.
Last week, the police raided the office of tainted qazi Farid Ahmed Khan in Mumbai and reportedly seized marriage records of the last 27 years since 1990.
On Wednesday, the police team also planned to seek custody of Hyderabad-based qazi Ali Abdullah Rafai, who is considered to be one of the main players in facilitating the marriages of minor girls.
Stating that a petition would be filed in the court to get his custody, assistant commissioner of Falaknuma police Mohammed Tajuddin Ahmed told ToI, “We are taking Qazi Rifai into custody again as it is required for the investigation, certain documents have to be recovered from him."