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Qazis not bound to confirm divorces

Qazis not bound to confirm divorces
Highlights

Lack of regulation and accountability has given Qazis a freehand in performing marriages and granting divorce, despite not being authorised to confirm divorces. Qazat (institution for solemnising marriages in Muslim community) in Telangana and AP, which had started more than a century ago in the Asif Jahi Dynasty, is now running without any government monitoring and control.

Lack of regulation and accountability has given Qazis a freehand in performing marriages and granting divorce, despite not being authorised to confirm divorces. Qazat (institution for solemnising marriages in Muslim community) in Telangana and AP, which had started more than a century ago in the Asif Jahi Dynasty, is now running without any government monitoring and control.


It is believed that the impugned Kazi Act, 1880, is not suitable for the present circumstances and a new comprehensive act with rules and regulations should be enacted for infallible functioning of this institution. It is argued that the Act clearly mentions that appointed Qazis have not conferred any judicial or administrative powers.


As per the preamble of the Act, Qazis are required at marriage and performance of certain other rites and ceremonies only. The Act neither defines a Qazi’s role in divorce cases nor authorise them for pronouncement, documentation, record, confirmation, certification or substantiation of divorce pronounced by any person.


Noted High Court advocate Shafeeq-ur-Rahman Muhajir explains that that Qazi’s duty is to perform marriage and give an opinion (fatwa). However, while referring to the last section of the Kazi Act 1880, he says that anyone can become a Qazi, as the importance associated with the post has been clearly mentioned.


“It is only officiating designate owing to the knowledge held by the individual. In cases of divorce, the Qazi can only give his opinion, which is not legally binding,” Mujahir adds. There are about 100 Qazis in Telangana, the posts of which were allotted during the Asif Jahi dynasty.


Most of the Qazis have inherited these posts from their fathers, just like the Sajjadas of Dargah. Even the officials in Qazi ul Quzat, points out that 1880 Act cannot be amended by the State. However, the State can abolish it on public demand.“Government is contemplating to bring amendments to ensure safety to girls,” said a higher official of Qazi ul Quzat.

By:Md Nizamuddin

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