SC: CHILD OF MUSLIM-HINDU COUPLES CAN CLAIM FATHERS PROPERTY

SC: CHILD OF MUSLIM-HINDU COUPLES CAN CLAIM FATHERS PROPERTY

Recently the top court had stated that the child born from the marriage of a Muslim man and Hindu woman is entitled to claim father’s property. The court was hearing the plea of Muhammad Salim who is the son of Mohammad llias, a Muslim man and Valliamma, a Hindu woman. He was seeking a share from his father’s property. The defendants were his cousins. They claimed that Valliamma has no right in the ancestral property by the Hindu law and so his child too do not have any right. Supreme Court observed the case and noted that the marriage is irregular and the child been described as an illegitimate child by the court. According to the mohamadan law, such child will be illegitimate always and have right in the ancestral property. Finally, the court ordered to give a share of the property to Muhammad Salim.

The court stated that” The marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fire­worshipper is neither a valid (sahih) nor a void (batil) marriage, but is merely an irregular (fasid) marriage. Any child born out of such wedlock (fasid marriage) is entitled to claim a share in his father’s property. It would not be out of place to emphasise at this juncture that since Hindus are idol worshippers, which includes worship of physical images/ statues through offering of flowers, adornment, etc., it is clear that the marriage of a Hindu female with a Muslim male is not a regular or valid (sahih) marriage, but merely an irregular (fasid) marriage. The position that a marriage between a Hindu woman and Muslim man is merely irregular and the issue from such wedlock is legitimate has also been affirmed by various high courts.”

The court also additionally stated that” The legal effect of an irregular marriage is that in case of consummation, though the wife is entitled to get dower, she is not entitled to inherit the husband’s properties. But the child born in that marriage is legitimate just like in the case of a valid marriage, and is entitled to inherit the father’s property.”

In Muslim law, the rules related to legitimacy are fairly liberal, and in another term, illegitimacy is condemned in all aspects and the woman culpable of having illicit relationship is liable to be punished for zina. The Muslim law-givers forcefully condemned all sex relationship outside wedlock as unlawful and provided for its punishment. In the words of Coulson: “Islamic law embodies the principle of strict enforcement of sexual morality in the severe punishment it prescribes for the offence of zina, or formication.”