Case Number: Writ Petition No. 7878 of 2014
Date of filing: 2014/08/30
1. Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
3. Bangladesh Mohila Parishad
1.Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration
2.Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs
3.Director General, Department of Printing and Publications
4.Deputy Director, Bangladesh Forms and Publication
A petition was filed to challenge Clause 5 of the marriage registration form (kabin-nama) (BG Form Nos. 1600 and 1601), which perpetuates discrimination between women and men and results in violation of Articles 27, 28, 31 and 32 of the Constitution.
BLAST, Naripokkho and Bangladesh Mohila Parishad filed a writ to ensure amendment of the provisions. Muslim marriages are required to be registered in a prescribed form (kabin-nama). These forms in clause no. 5 require a bride to make a statement regarding her marital status and sexual history, specifically stating whether she is কুমার/ বিধবা/ তালাকা (virgin/ widowed/ divorced). However, the groom is not required to make such a statement. These forms also do not require either the bride or the groom to produce any original identification document or photograph to confirm their identity. Only a woman is required to provide her personal information regarding marital status, which is violative of fundamental rights. The inclusion of the word “কুমার” instead of “অবিবাহিতা” violates women’s personhood and dignity, protected by Article 32 of the Constitution. In addition, the absence of proof of identity of the groom in the kabin–nama and the failure to require a photograph of the groom to be attached in the form
s results in obstructing women’s equal access to remedies in case of family disputes and in case of violence by husband, to take recourse to protection of the law.
The High Court issued a Rule Nisi upon the respondents to show cause as to why clause No. 5 in the BG Forms No. 1600 and 16001 should not be declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect being discriminatory against women. In addition, the respondents were asked to show cause as to why they should not be directed to take necessary steps to amend the aforesaid forms by omitting the use of the word “কুমার”, to ensure that information regarding marital status is required by both men and women, and to impose a mandatory requirement for both the bride and groom to affix their respective photographs to the forms at the time of registration.
Ms. Justice Naima Haider
Mr. Justice Md. Jahangir Hossain
Area of law
Amendment of kabin-nama case
Constitution, Articles 27, 28,31and 32;
Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CE
Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act 1974;
Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Rules 1974, Rule 28 (1) (a)
Making the Rule absolute the Hon’ble Court provided a judgment instructing specific correction and addition in the Kabin-Nama, the Muslim marriage deed. The Hon’ble court made a direction that the word ‘unmarried’ be used instead of the word ‘kumari’ under column number five of the Kabin-Nama. The Court also directed that now a new column number four (Ka) would be added and under column number 4 KA, the groom, similar the bride, has to also provide one of the epithets “unmarried, widower, or divorced” before their names.
Madam Justice Naima Haider
Mr. Justice Khijir Ahmed Choudhury
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