South Asian Minorities Lawyers Association (SAMLA) has welcomed the marriage registration move of the Supreme Court, saying that “there is nothing in the provisions of the move to be opposed.”
In a meeting organised in the Capital on December 12, eminent lawyers belonging to the minority community discussed at great length the apex court direction from its both positive and negative angles.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat on October 25 last directed all states and Union Territories to bring in suitable legislation to make registration of marriage compulsory for all, and asked them to file a compliance report along with an affidavit after the three months deadline.
This move of the Apex Court has since earned wide criticism from the various quarters of the minority community. All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) does not want the law to be made for Muslims.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed, AIMPLB member and head of Lucknow’s oldest Islamic seminary Firangi Mahal, expressed reservations against the order. “I fail to understand why should such a need arise in case of a Muslim marriage where a nikahnama is a good enough recorded evidence of marriage. After all the Shariat Application Act of 1937 clearly allows Muslims to carry out their marriages and other religious rituals in the manner prescribed under Islam; and no law is supposed to override that right. Unlike Hindu marriages where there is no certificate in black and white, three copies of nikahnama are issued and these could ideally serve every practical purpose of a registration certificate,” the Maulana had said.
But SAMLA finds that there is nothing in the move which affects the cause of the minority community. And, “if it is put into practice, it would confirm the agreements reached at in the nikah ordained by Shari’ah,” they said.
The lawyers also felt that the move would protect the rights of women.
The SAMLA secretary for finance Nasir Azeez, who was conducting the programme, said, “The move aims at ensuring that man and wife may sail their matrimonial life with peace of mind and mutual confidence; and this is what Islam also ordains.”