HC ruling on Muslim wedding

In its order, a division bench comprising Justices Vinod Prasad and Rajesh Chandra also ruled that remarriage of a Muslim man shall be held void if he abandons his first wife without divorcing her and fails to treat children born of the marriage in a fair and just manner.

The order was passed on Monday when the bench dismissed a writ petition of one Dilbar Habib Siddiqui, a resident of Allahabad, who had married a Hindu girl named Khushboo on December 29, last year. Siddiqui had moved the court with the plea to quash the FIR lodged against him by Khushboo’s mother Sunita Jaiswal alleging that he had kidnapped her daughter, a minor at that time, and had forced her to marry him.

Refuting the charges levelled against him in the FIR, Siddiqui produced a copy of Khushboo’s high school certificate to prove that she was a major at the time of marriage and her (Khushboo’s) representations to higher authorities, upon learning about the FIR, that the marriage was a result of mutual consent.

While holding that having more than one wife is permissible under Islam, the court, however, took strong note of the fact that before tying the knot with Khushboo, Siddiqui had not disclosed to her that he was already married and was the father of three children.

His first wife had appeared before the court during the course of the hearing and alleged that Siddiqui had abandoned her and their three children, compelling them to “live like destitutes”.

The court noted that Siddiqui “albeit married, had deceived Khushboo Jaiswal, who did not intimate us that she was in the knowledge of the petitioner’s first marriage”. “For a valid Muslim marriage, both the spouses have to be Muslim. In the present writ petition, this condition is not satisfied”, the court remarked and quoted from a verse in the Quran which says, “Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe... Nor marry your girls to unbelievers until they believe”.

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