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PIL filed on divorce judgment: Petitioner seeks panel of Islamic scholars to discuss divorce
SRINAGAR, Nov 20: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed seeking directions to constitute a panel of Islamic jurists to discuss the subject of divorce meticulously before any final judgment is delivered by the High Court on the matter.

In his PIL, advocate G M Wani, has said the High Court being the court of record has plenary and inherent jurisdiction and as the decree of the court carries perennial implications, the petition is presented with a view that the judgment is rendered extra effective and made more comprehensive, so as to embrace diverse dimensions of a divorce, besides causing the order to be relevant to the entire community, including the Sunni and Shiite sects.

Wani has said that the matter needs to be thrashed out by capable Islamic jurists of repute and distinction. “… The subject (divorce) may be directed to be discussed by distinguished Islamic jurists meticulously, before the laws relating to divorce are durably depicted by this honorable court,” reads Wani’s PIL.

He has further sought the Court direction to compose a ‘constellation’ of competent, credible and assorted Islamic scholars completely conversant with Islamic jurisprudence, so that laws become more comprehensive, concurrent and acceptable to divergent sections of Muslims.

In its latest judgment on divorce, the High Court has maintained that divorce be used as a “last option” when a marriage runs into rough weather”, and a husband needs to “plead and prove” the preconditions before a marriage is considered “dissolved”.

In his 23-page judgment by Justice Husnain Massodi has extensively quoted Shariah (Islamic law) and the holy Quran before arriving at a conclusion. The judgment was given in a case filed by a women lawyer who had approached the court for a monthly maintenance allowance from her husband.

The woman had claimed that after living as a couple for four years since 1997, later according to the petition, the man had “neglected her and refused to live with her”. The trial court had ordered a monthly maintenance of Rs. 1,600 to the women. The man had challenged the petition and said he had divorced his wife in 2003, but had provided no proof of divorce. He had, however, sent a written divorce while the case of maintenance was being heard. The review court had allowed the marriage to be dissolved setting aside the order of the trial court.

The judgment generated a huge debate in the Valley with religious scholars calling for a meeting to discuss the issue before commenting. While the religious organizations reacted sharply, the senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked the Muftis to examine the court judgment to prevent any confusion in the public quarters.

On November 9, the High Court Bar Association also filed the application citing certain points as infirmities for the constitutional bench to hear the matter of personal law of parties. “Since High Court is a constitutional creation and constitutional bench cannot hear the matter of Personal Law of parties,” reads the application of the Bar Association. The case is listed for hearing on December 3.
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News Updated at : Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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