Kerala to bind Muslims with Monogamy

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Kochi, Oct 30: The Kerala Law Reforms Commission is considering a draft bill seeking declaration of monogamy as a rule binding every Muslim and those violating it shall be punished.

"Monogamy is the general rule and polygamy is permissible only in socially exceptional circumstances. Talaq can be effected only subject to special conditions," according to the preliminary draft of the Kerala Muslim Marriage and Dissolution by Talaq (Regulation) Bill, prepared by a three- member draft committee of the Commission, comprising its Chairman, Justice V R Krishna Iyer, Vice Chairman, Justice T V Ramakrishnan and Barrister M P R Nair.

The draft had been sent to Muslim judges and lawyers in the state for their opinion and suggestions were expected within 10 days. The preliminary draft was expected to be sent to the government within 15 days, Commission sources said.

A Muslim man, who wants to remarry will be allowed to do so only with the written consent of his first wife before a notary public or a judicial officer expresing her consent to the second marriage and briefly giving her reasons for the consent.

On his second marriage, the husband will be liable to provide reasonable accomodation and privacy as well as alimony for the first wife to sustain herself in reasonable comfort.

The affected spouse shall be entitled to seek redress by petitioning the court of the Maigstrate of First Class having jurisidiction over either party.

The draft states that the female spouse was entitled to divorce only through court or with the approval of the conciliation council on grounds of irretrievable break down irreparable by conciliation.

In case both spouses entered into a compromise sanctioning divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown, such agreement, attested after due enquiry by a civil or criminal judicial officer, could grant divorce without further forensic procedure.

The draft had also suggested constitution of conciliation councils by the government in each district.


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