Legal procedure of court marriage in Bangladesh

In modern society, the term “Court Marriage” is well-known. Court marriage is often used by couples who have been rejected by their families. In short, a ‘Court Marriage’ is neither a marriage nor has it been recognized by any legal rule. It’s only a first-class magistrate’s affidavit of marriage between the couple.

An affidavit is a written declaration of subject-matter before a first-class magistrate in the form of a non-judicial stamp. When a couple signs an affidavit declaring their marriage, they are stating that they have been legally wedded to each other. It’s just the pair asserting that they made their decision on their own volition and without undue influence or compulsion. Now the question arises: what is the marriage document, given that they have made a declaration of their free consent in marriage?

It’s important to emphasize that the affidavit of marriage is merely a document proving their free consent, not their marriage. Marriage proof is provided by marriage registration and kabinnama. Every marriage under Muslim law must be recorded under the provisions of the Muslim marriage and divorce (registration) act 1974, and the government will appoint as many marriage registrars as it deems necessary for this purpose. The prerequisites must be met in order for the marriage to be registered. The following are the requirements for validating a marriage:

1) One part makes an offer, and the other accepts it.

2) Two male or one male and two female witnesses are required by sharia law. Whatever the case, the Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1974 treated both men and women equally.

3) The permission of both parties must be unrestricted. The marriage is nullified if consent is given under duress.

4) The parties to the marriage must have reached the age of majority, which is 21 for boys and 18 for girls, as defined by the “Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929.” Marriage before this age is a criminal violation, but it does not render the marriage void.

So, once the prerequisite is met, a couple appears before a government-approved kazi, producing all necessary documents and witnesses, fills out the kabinnama form, and signs it in the required box. After inspecting the relevant documents, the kazi registers the marriage in the book.

In Bangladesh, the same restrictions apply to Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist communities. Although the Hindu Marriage Registration Act of 2012 allows for the registration of Hindu marriages, no equivalent provision exists for Christian or Buddhist marriages. Such communities must register with the priest or administration of the church/temple where the marriage is solemnized and acquire a marriage certificate.

The superior legal documents of the marriage are the kbinnama and marriage certificate, however an affidavit is a secondary proof of the parties’ free consent. Now, since the kabinnama and the marriage certificate are the official documents of marriage, what is the need for an affidavit?

The query has already been answered. Except for the kabinnama/marriage certificate, an affidavit of marriage has no value. However, the affidavit protects either party, particularly the bridegroom, in the event that the bride’s guardian files rape or kidnap charges against him after the wedding. Before a court of law, the affidavit certifies that both parties were of sound mind when they married and dismisses the plaintiff’s claim. It also serves as a safeguard for the parties in the event that one of them, under duress, alters their statement and later denies the existence of a voluntary marriage. However, without kabinnama or marriage certificates, proof of marriage becomes hazy and difficult to establish in court. A court marriage, as opposed to a lawful one, is a nullity with no legal effects. It maintains its void marriage condition. Thus, in the instance of a court marriage without a kabinnama,

1) The problems are bogus.

2) It is adultery to live together.

3) There will be no mutual inheritance.

4) There’s no need to worry about upkeep.

5) There is no issue of dower.

6) No action for recovery of conjugal rights has been filed.

7) There will be no marriage at all.

Let’s take a look at some court rulings. In Khodeja Begum vs Sadaq Sarkar 50DLR 1998 (HCD) 181, Justice Abdul Mannan stated that in a Muslim marriage, both parties’ signatures in the kabinnama are required to confirm marriage validity, and nothing else will suffice.

Another decision was made. Justice Abdullah stated in Dr. Aim Abdullah vs Rokeya Khatoon & others 21 DLR 213 that a marriage that is properly entered into may not be impacted by non-registration. However, failure to register puts doubt on the marriage’s validity.

As a result, it is apparent that when a marriage is recorded and signed in kabinnama, it is genuine. If a couple signs an affidavit but does not register their marriage, they can do so thereafter by altering the kabinnama date to coincide with the affidavit. When a question of coercion emerges after a marriage, the kabinnama and affidavit serve as a defense against the plaintiff. In any case, for a marriage to be legally valid, it must be registered.

SNS Lawyers is not just a name in legal aid, it is now a brand. We deal with the customer’s problem with the utmost importance by analyzing the judgment and realizing it by applying the correct law. We have “Law Labs” where we thoroughly analyze and review the decisions of the High Court with the aim of finding the right solution to the problem of the customer. Complex and difficult cases are handled properly by wise senior lawyers and barristers. We firmly believe that there is a legally correct solution to every problem that we are determined to give. Achieving customer satisfaction is our only goal.

After all, people never want to go to two professionals, the first being a doctor and the second being a lawyer. But just as you can get sick and seek medical help at any time, unintentional accidents can happen at any time in your life due to your reluctance or ignorance. Remember, every human being as a good citizen must know the law. To date, no criminal has been released, citing ignorance of the law as an excuse. Since there is no place for accidents, let’s follow the law to get rid of unexpected harassment and false charges.