Divorced Muslim Women Need Not Move Court to Get Divorce Recorded: Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court has held that a divorced Muslim woman need not be sent to a court of law for recording the talaq if it is otherwise in order as per the personal law.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan said that merely because a woman registered her marriage as per the Kerala Registration of Marriages (Common) Rules, 2008, she need not be dragged to a court of law for recording her divorce if it was obtained as per her personal law.

“A divorced Muslim woman need not be sent to a court of law for recording the talaq if it is otherwise in order as per the personal law. The officer concerned can record the talaq without insisting on a court order.

“I think that there is a lacuna in Rule 2008 in this regard. The legislature should think about the same. The registry will forward a copy of this Judgment to the Chief Secretary of the state to do the needful in accordance with law,” Justice Kunhikrishnan said in his January 10 judgment in the matter.

The court observed that under the Rules of 2008, a divorced Muslim woman cannot remarry till the entry in the marriage register was removed by approaching a competent court of law, but the husband faces no such hindrance.

The order and observations of the court came on a divorced Muslim woman’s plea seeking directions to the Local Registrar of Marriages to record her divorce in the marriage register.

She moved the court for the relief as the Registrar refused to record the divorce entry on the ground that the Rules of 2008 do not contain any provision authorising him to do so.

While considering the plea the court questioned that once the husband pronounced talaq, can the marriage registration as per the Rules of 2008 be a burden to the Muslim woman alone.

In the instant case the marriage between the couple was solemnised in 2012, but it did not last long and the husband pronounced talaq in 2014.

The woman also got a divorce certificate issued by the Thalasseri Mahal Khazi.

However, when she went to make the entry of divorce in the marriage register as required under the Rules of 2008, the Registrar had refused to do so.

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Disagreeing with the stand of the Registrar, the court said, “If there is the power to register the marriage, the power to record the divorce is also inherent and ancillary to the authority who registers the marriage, if there is a divorce under the personal law.”

The court directed the Local Registrar of Marriages to consider the woman’s appplication for recording the divorce entry and pass appropriate orders on that after issuing a notice to her ex-husband.

It directed the authority to carry out the process “as expeditiously as possible, at any rate, within a period of one month from the date of receipt of a stamped certified copy of this judgment”.

With these directions, the court disposed of the matter.

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