10/31/2012, 00.00
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Jammu and Kashmir: husband does not have absolute power in divorce

Established by the High Court of the State, in a marriage case. According to the court, reciting Talaq (Islamic formula) three times is only a "last resort" to be used only after attempting reconciliation. In Jammu and Kashmir nearly 2,500 cases are pending.

Srinagar (AsiaNews) - The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has determined that the power of a husband to pronounce Talaq (divorce) "is not absolute." The judgment refers to the case of Mohammad Naseem Bhat and Bilquees Akhter: Judge Hasnain Massodi ruled in favor of the woman. According to the court, the Talaq (meaning "I divorce you") must be "a last resort" and may be granted only when the couple has exhausted all other viable options to recover the marital relationship. Under Shari'a (Islamic law, which does not have legal authority in the State, ed), by pronouncing Talaq three times a husband repudiates his wife and begins divorce proceedings.

In issuing the ruling, Judge Massodi explained: "A husband must not only prove that he pronounced the Talaq, and applied for divorce, but that he tried by all means to and made all the necessary efforts [to save the marriage], and that these efforts have not borne fruit. " Only then can the husband get a divorce and break free from the obligations stipulated in the marriage contract, including the right to maintain his wife. In the  Bhat-Akhter case, the court noted that "although there have been minor attempts, sound evidence to authorize a divorce is lacking."

According to the latest available official data, there are 2448marriage cases pending in various courts of the state. 4862 those still waiting to determine maintenance amount, and more than 7,310 cases of internal disputes. The figures available to the State Women's Commission (Swc) show that the majority of cases involve low-income groups: of the 1,820 cases registered, 1,333 are from the valley of Kashmir and 487 from Jammu. (NC)


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