Waqf Board to seek legal opinion on issuing divorce certificates

The Telangana State Waqf Board (TSWB) will seek legal opinion on the question of issuing divorce certificates, a service which sources say is not covered by waqf laws.

The qazath, which issues siyahjaat (marriage forms), marriage booklets, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates, functions under the purview of the TSWB. To streamline and bring about uniformity, a rationalisation of qazath system was brought about in the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh in 2002.

According to sources, in the recent past, the TSWB has cut back on issuing divorce certificates. This, officials say, is on account of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act coming into effect. The legislation enables imprisonment of Muslim men, and a fine, if they pronounce instant triple talaq.

“The Waqf Act does not mention anything about the issuing of divorce certificates. There is no such provision. We are not entitled to do this. The issue is that in case somebody does pronounce triple talaq in one sitting, and tries to pass it off as something else, and the staff issues a divorce certificate based on it, how will the staff be protected from this wrong-doing by the applicant. This becomes the area of criminal jurisprudence,” a source from the TSWB who did not wish to be identified said.

The source added that when the Khazi Act of 1880 exists, the need for the TSWB entering into this domain should be deliberated upon. “We are asking for legal opinion on the subject,” the source said, adding that issuing marriage certificates will continue.

Another board staff member said that while on the one hand issuing of divorce certificates has has come to a halt, certificates pertaining to khula, a provision in which the woman seeks a divorce while forgoing the meher (dower), are being issued.

“The applicant has to submit khula documents, after which a certificate from the board is issued,” the source said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 5:26:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/waqf-board-to-seek-legal-opinion-on-issuing-divorce-certificates/article35639452.ece

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