AIMPLB objections over new nikahnama unfounded: Expert

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) Former National Minorities Commission chairman Tahir Mahmood today termed ''unfounded'' the objections raised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) over the model nikahnama (marital agreement) issued by the Women's body.

''There is nothing objectionable in it from the Islamic point of view,'' Dr Mahmood said in a statement here.

The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) on Sunday released a new Sharai Nikahnama in Lucknow to ''make Muslim marriages stronger and more secure''.

''There are two major propositions in the nikahnama such as no talaq (divorce) communicated by phone, e-mail or SMS will be effective and wife will have the right to khula (talaq at wife's instance). Both of these eminently conform to the letter and spirit of the Shariat,'' he added.

Dr Mahmood, who is also a member of the Law Commission, said even if somebody found it at variance with the traditional law, parties to a Muslim wedding indubitably have full contractual freedom under the Islamic law and could stipulate at the time of marriage conditions of their choice not violating any mandatory provision of Shariat.

The new nikahnama does not contravene any such provision and was fully valid under the legal rule of contracting parties' freedom of stipulation, he added.

In any case, Prof Mahmood said the provisions of the new Nikahnama were in full accord with the codes of Muslim law now in force in major Islamic countries and also with the interpretation of talaq law given by the Supreme Court.

The new Sharai nikahnama issued by the AIMWPLB sets two conditions. Firstly, there must be photographs of the bride and the groom pasted on it. Secondly, the original copy must be submitted at the Registrar of Marriages office so that approaching the judiciary is easy in case of any disputes.

The nikahnama has to be filled in triplicate (three original copies) - a copy for the couple, one for the Qazi and the third for the Registrar of Marriages.

UNI AG YA RK1800

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