High Court verdict: woman cannot be a marriage registrar

Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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The High Court has ruled that women cannot be marriage registrars (Qazi) in view of the social and practical situation in Bangladesh.

Lawyer of the writ petitioner Humayun Kabir confirmed the verdict on Sunday (January 10).

A woman from Dinajpur filed a writ petition to become a marriage registrar candidate. The High Court bench comprising Justice Jubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Jinat Haque dismissed the writ petition. The verdict was published after the signatures of the judges today.

Observations of the published verdict said that women are in physical disqualification at a certain time of the month. In that case Muslim marriage is a religious function and in our country most marriages are taught in mosques. At that time women cannot enter the mosque and they cannot pray. Therefore, since marriage is a religious function, in view of this reality, it is not possible to perform the duty of marriage registrar with women in Bangladesh.

Lawyer Humayun Kabir said, with this observation of the High Court, the High Court has rejected the rule issued on the writ case in this regard. As a result, women cannot be marriage registrars.

Advocate Fawzia Karim, chairman of the Foundation for Law and Development, said, the Prime Minister of the country is a woman. Women are becoming pilots of aircraft, also working in the armed forces. So why can't women be marriage registrars? So we will appeal against the verdict of the High Court.

In 2014, the advisory committee proposed the names of three women as marriage registrars in wards 7, 8 and 9 of Fulbaria municipality in Dinajpur district. The matter of the three-member panel was sent to the law ministry. On June 17 of the same year, the Ministry of Law dismissed the three-member panel with a letter stating that in view of the real situation in Bangladesh, it is not possible for women to perform the duties of marriage registrar.

Later, Ayesha Siddique, who is number one on the panel of marriage registrars, filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the decision of the law ministry. The High Court issued a rule asking why the law ministry's letter regarding the hearing of the writ petition would not be canceled.

Following the hearing, the High Court bench of Justice Jubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Jinat Haque dismissed the rule. As a result, in view of the social and practical situation in Bangladesh, the decision of the Law Ministry to uphold the marriage registration of women remained in force, the lawyers said.