Dismissing an anticipatory bail application moved by a maulvi, accused of forcing a young Muslim girl into a wedding with a married man who allegedly raped her subsequently, a sessions court here has slammed the cleric’s attempt to take refuge in religious tenets to justify his act.
While the prosecution said the maulvi forcibly performed the nikah, the maulvi claimed that the Shariah permitted a Muslim to keep four wives at a time and that the girl consented to the marriage.
However, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau noted that the girl had not signed the marriage certificate. Her parents were not present, nor were there any witnesses. Further, the girl escaped from the man, who allegedly raped her after serving her intoxicants, the same day. The maulvi getting a stamp paper for the girl to sign purportedly consenting to the marriage was prima facie a “cover-up operation” on his part for indemnity from legal consequences and awareness of his committing an illegal act, the judge said.
On the Maulvi taking recourse to Shariah to justify polygamy, Ms. Lau said: “The Indian legal system provides sufficient space for religious freedom but whenever any such regressive religious practice come into conflict with the rights of the citizens as enshrined in the Indian Constitution, it becomes obligatory for courts to ensure that it is the majesty of law and the constitutional mandate which prevail.”
Obligatory outrage from Muslim scholars