Kerala High Court Issues Directions On How Family Courts Are To Adjudicate Cases Involving Extra Judicial Modes Of Divorce At The Instance Of Wife Under Muslim Law
While upholding the validity of the extra judicial modes of divorce for women, the Kerala High Court recently issued directions to Family Courts on the course to follow while adjudicating cases that involved these methods.
Pointing out that the there is no difficulty for the Family Court to endorse an extra-judicial divorce to declare the matrimonial status of a person a bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and CS Dias issued directions on the subject.
The Court directed that in the matter of talaq, khula, mubaraat, talaq-e-tafwiz, the Family Courts shall entertain such applications moved by either of the parties or both parties to declare the marital status of such parties.
Where unilateral modes of dissolution such as khula and talaq, the Court stated that the scope of inquiry before the Family Courts would be limited. In such proceedings, the High Court insisted that the court record the khula or talaq to declare the marital status of the parties after due notice to other party.
"If any person want(s) to contest the effectiveness of khula or talaq, it is open for such aggrieved person to contest the same in appropriate manner known under law," the Court stated.
Where consensual modes of dissolution were concerned, such as through the invocation mubaraat and talaq-e-tafwiz, on being satisfied that the dissolution is being effected on mutual consent, the Family Court without further inquiry shall declare the marital status, the Court mandated.
The Bench specially instructed Family Courts not to adjudicate upon extra-judicial divorce unless it was called upon to do so in an appropriate manner, since the Courts were overburdened with large number of cases.
"The Family Court in such matters shall endeavour to dispose the cases treating it as uncontested matter, without any delay by passing a formal order declaring the marital status", the Court said.