Hindu-Muslim marriage: Muslim law deems wedding invalid under special marriage act, rules MP High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently ruled that a marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman is invalid under Mahomedan Law, even if registered under the Special Marriage Act.

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently ruled that a marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman is not valid under Mahomedan Law, even if registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. This observation came as the court denied a plea for police protection for a couple seeking to register their interfaith marriage.

Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia highlighted that a union between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman would be deemed an irregular (fasid) marriage under Muslim personal law. He stated, “As per Mahomedan law, the marriage of a Muslim boy with a girl who is an idolatress or a fire-worshipper is not a valid marriage. Even if the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, the marriage would no longer be a valid marriage and it would be an irregular (fasid) marriage.”

Case Details and Family Opposition

The court reviewed a petition filed by a Hindu woman and a Muslim man, whose relationship faced strong opposition from the woman's family. The family expressed fears of societal boycott and claimed the woman had taken family jewellery before leaving to marry her Muslim partner.

Couple’s Intentions and Legal Arguments

The couple expressed their desire to marry under the Special Marriage Act, insisting that neither intended to convert religions post-marriage. Their counsel argued for police protection to ensure their appearance before the Marriage Officer, asserting that the Special Marriage Act should supersede personal law prohibitions.

Court’s Stand on Legal Recognition

The High Court referenced a Supreme Court case, Mohammed Salim (D) Through LRs. & Ors. vs. Shamsudeen (D) Through LRs. & Ors., which dealt with the inheritance rights of children from a Muslim-Hindu marriage. The court concluded that the proposed marriage would be an irregular marriage under personal law. It emphasised that while the Special Marriage Act allows for non-religious marriages, it does not override personal law prohibitions.

Petition Dismissed

The court dismissed the petition, noting that the couple was neither interested in a live-in relationship without marriage nor willing to convert religions. “It is not the case of petitioners that if marriage is not performed, then they are still interested to live in a live-in relationship. It is also not the case for petitioners that petitioner No.1 would accept Muslim religion. Under these circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that no case is made without warranting interference,” the court stated.