Under Muslim Personal law, can Family Court dissolve the marriage of a couple? Bom HC elaborates

Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of V.K. Jadhav and Sandipkumar C. More, JJ., addressed whether Family Court under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 read with Section 7(1)(b) Explanation (b) of the Family Courts Act, 1984 declare the matrimonial status of a wife and husband.

The applicant/accused sought to quash an FIR for the offences punishable under Sections 498(A), 323, 504, 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 on the ground that the parties arrived at an amicable settlement.

Applicant’s counsel submitted that applicant-husband and respondent 2-wife got separated by mutual consent and hence approached the Family Court for declaration of their matrimonial status in terms of provisions of Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 read with Section 7(1)(b) Explanation (b) of the Family Courts Act, 1984.

Family Court had allowed the petition and declared their status as they were no more husband and wife in terms of the mutual agreement between them. Further, it was agreed between the parties that the applicant-husband shall pay an amount of Rs 5 lakhs to respondent 2 as the amount for future maintenance in total.

Respondent 2 submitted that she was not interested in prosecuting the applicant.

Analysis, Law and Decision

In the present matter, in terms of provisions of Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, all the questions about the property, marriage, dissolution of marriage including talaq, illa, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, maintenance, dower, guardianship gifts, trusts and trust properties and wakfs the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be considered as per the provisions of Muslim Personal law (Shariat).

Section 7 of the Family Courts Act, 1984, prescribes jurisdiction, in terms of Section 7(1), Explanation (a) and (b), suit for a declaration as to the validity of a marriage or as to the matrimonial status of any person can also be a subject matter before the Family Court.

Therefore, Family Court had rightly applied the provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 to the parties before this Court and hence declared the status of marriage as no more in existence by mutual consent.

While concluding the matter, the Bench allowed the criminal application. [Shaikh Taslim Shaikh Hakim v. State of Maharashtra,  2022 SCC OnLine Bom 757, decided on 29-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Shaikh Wajeed Ahmed, Advocate for the applicant. Mr.S.S. Dande, APP for the respondent/State. Mr. Samir Shaikh, Advocate for respondent No.2.

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