Law Reforms Panel mulls proposal on Muslim monogamy

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Kochi, Oct 29 (UNI) The Kerala Law Reforms Commission is mulling a proposal to make monogamy the general rule for Muslims in the State, with exceptions provided under only ''socially exceptional'' circumstances.

The Draft Committee of the Commission, headed by Noted Jurist, Mr Justice (Retd) V R Krishna Iyer, has circulated among Commission Members the draft of the 'Kerala Muslim Marriage and Dissoloution By Talaq (Regulation) Bill,' which also recommends a Muslim woman shall be entitled to divorce only through court or with the approval of a conciliation council.

Commission Vice-Chairman Mr Justice (Retd.) Ramakrishnan told UNI the draft bill had also been forwarded to legal luminaries of the Muslim Community to seek their views.

''We have asked everyone to give their views within ten days. We hope to ready the final draft within 15 days and submit it to the State Government,'' he added.

The Bill proposed by the Draft Committee suggests the State Government should declare that ''among Muslims in Kerala, monogamy is the general rule and polygamy a just exception, permissible only in socially exceptional circumstances and that also subject to compassionate conditions.

''If any Muslim, man or woman, marries again during the subsistence of the first marriage, the party who violates shall be guilty of bigamy under the Indian Penal Code and punishable as such,'' it added.

A second marriage would be allowed only with the consent of the first wife in writing before a Notary Public or a judicial officer with the wife briefly giving her reasons for the consent.

It has also suggested that the female spouse shall be entitled to divorce only through court or with the approval of a conciliation council on grounds of irretrievable breakdown irreparable by conciliation.

''Such conciliation shall be a condition precedent and shall be tried by the conciliation council whose unanimous decision will be binding.'' UNI ARC GM LS AS2025

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