Muslim Women Can Approach Only Family Court For Divorce: Madras High Court
The Madras High Court has declared that a Muslim woman is free to exercise her unalienable right to dissolve a marriage through a “Khula” (divorce action started by the wife) by going to a family court rather than a private organisation like a Shariat Council.
Khula marriage dissolution cannot be pronounced or certified by private entities.
These Khula credentials from private organisations are therefore invalid. Khula is a type of divorce granted to a wife, much like talaq is granted to a husband. In his ruling on a writ suit filed by a man seeking to have his wife’s Khula certificate revoked, Justice C. Saravanan invalidated the contested certificate, which was issued in 2017 by the Shariat Council, Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamath.
In Bader Sayeed Vs. Union of India, 2017, the Madras High Court ordered an interim stay and prohibited organisations, such as the respondents in that case (Kazis), from issuing certificates certifying dissolution of marriage through Khula, according to the verdict.
The Supreme Court ruled in Vishwa Madan Lochan v. Union of India and others (2014) that regardless of the position of “fatwa” under Mughal or British administration, it had no place in independent India under the Constitutional Scheme. This was the ruling that the petitioner cited in this case.
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