Karnataka High Court Stated Muslim Marriage Is A Contract Than A Ritual

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Highlights

  • The Karnataka High Court ruled that a Muslim marriage is an agreement with multiple shades of meaning
  • The case concerns a plea submitted by Ezazur Rehman (52) in Bengaluru's Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, seeking to overturn a decision issued by the First Additional Principal Judge of Bengaluru's Family Court.

The Karnataka High Court ruled that a Muslim marriage is an agreement with multiple shades of meaning, not a sacramental like a Hindu marriage, and its termination that does not absolve the couple of particular rights and obligations.

On August 12, 2011, the case concerns a plea submitted by Ezazur Rehman (52) in Bengaluru's Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, seeking to overturn a decision issued by the First Additional Principal Judge of Bengaluru's Family Court. On November 25, 1991, months after their marriage, Rehman divorced Saira Banu by pronouncing Talaq with a 'Mehr' of Rs 5,000. Following the divorce, Rehman entered into a new marriage and became the father of a child. On August 24, 2002, Banu launched a legal claim for alimony. The complainant is allowed to Rs 3,000 in monthly maintenance from the commencement of the suit until the plaintiff's death or until she remarries, or until the defendant's death, according to the family court.

Justice Krishna S Dixit stated in his decision dated October 7 rejecting the case with a cost of Rs 25,000. Dixit explained that 'Marriage is a contract' has several sunglasses of meaning; it is not a ritual unlike a Hindu marriage.

Justice Dixit went on to say that because a Muslim marriage is not a sacrament, it does not negate certain privileges and responsibilities that arise from its dissolution. The bench recognised that a divorce does not, in and of itself, extinguish all of the parties' duties and obligations. According to the judge, Muslim marriage begins with a contract and progresses to the status that it would in any other community.

The court's decision that a Muslim ex-wife has a claim to maintenance if she meets specific criteria is undisputed. Mehr, or dower, is recognised as compensation for marriage in Islamic theology as an usual rule, the court said, noting that it may be a 'quick dower' received while the wife is called upon to occupy the conjugal abode or a 'delayed dower' received on the dissolution of marriage.

He also stated that 'Mehr' is not properly fixed, and the bride-side possesses equitable negotiating power due to economic and gender-related considerations.

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