The Madras High Court has come to the rescue of a young Muslim girl who was branded by a Jamath as an “illegitimate” child because her father had married two sisters one after the other despite a specific prohibition under the Mohammedan law.

Dismissing a civil revision petition filed by the president of the Jamath in Nagercoil, Justice S. Palanivelu held that the act committed by the girl’s father was only a curable irregularity and therefore the children born out of such marriage could not be called as illegitimate.

A. Sohail Ahmed (name changed) was a member of the Mahan Tulkasha Olliyullah Darga Vadaseri Kuthba Pallivasal at Nagercoil of Kanyakumari district. As per Mohammedan law, an individual is not supposed to marry the sister of his first wife during her life time without giving Talaq (divorce). But Ahmed lived with both the sisters and had five children through the first wife and two daughters through the second.

In 1997, he filed a civil suit before the Principal Munsif Court at Nagercoil challenging his extermination from the Jamath. Even as the case was pending, a compromise was reached between him and the new office bearers of the Jamath in May 2006.

In February this year, he applied for a No Objection Certificate from the Jamath to give the girl born out of his second marriage to a groom based in Chennai. But the Jamath’s president refused to issue the NOC, a prerequisite for conducting Muslim marriages. The judge directed the Jamath to issue a No Objection Certificate forthwith to Ahmed so that he could conduct her marriage without any hitch in the lawful capacity of being her father.