Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inequitable treatment ground for divorce in Muslim marriage: Kerala HC

Kochi: The Kerala high court has held that a Muslim womans claim of \"inequitable treatment\" in a polygamous marriage should be accepted by courts as ground for divorce.



\"It was the assertion of woman that matters in the case if she felt inequality from the husband. She is the best judge to decide whether her husband was showing discrimination towards her or no,\" a division bench comprising justices R Basant and M C Hari Rani ruled yesterday.



When it was admitted or proved that there had been a second marriage and when the wife asserted that she had been treated inequitably and that she would like to walk out of such a marriage, no court could fetter her right to quit the marriage, the bench held.



The observation was made by the bench while upholding a lower courts order granting decree of divorce to Khairunnissa on a divorce petition filed by her and dismissing an appeal by her husband Abdulrehiman of Perinthalmanna challenging it.



The court pointed out that a Muslim husband had the right to walk out of a marriage unilaterally even in a monogamous marriage. \"At least when faced with the ignominy of polygamy, the wife must on her assertions be able to secure an order through court to quit such a marriage. Her assertions need not be tested on other touchstones,\" the court said.



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