Srinagar, February 23
Jammu Kashmir Police has issued an order calling for punishment of its officers and officials who marry the second time without seeking permission from the government. An order issued by J&K Police said it had been observed that contracting second marriages without adopting due procedure as laid down in the Government Employees Service Conduct Rules was on a rise as far as police officers and officials of armed zone were concerned. The order said contracting second marriage without adopting due procedure was a serious misconduct that was having adverse impact on the welfare of the concerned family comprising the first wife and children from her and warrants stern departmental action.
The Police order said lenient punishments were being awarded to such officers and officials which were not commensurate to their guilt. The order called upon the authorities to award punishment to the officers and officials against whom allegations of second marriage without proper permission were established during the course of inquiry.
The Police order also suggested punishing such officers and officials by forfeiting their increment for at least one year to check this “menace”. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Additional Director General of Police, Armed, Lalatendu Mohanti, who issued the order, said policemen were deserting their wives and children by going for second marriages. “They think it is their personal law and they can do it,” Mohanti said stressing that marrying the second time without the approval of the government was in violation of Government Employees Service Conduct Rules, 1971. “The rules clearly states that officers or officials should not get married second time without the prior permission of the government and if they do so, it is a serious misconduct of Government Employees Service Conduct Rules 1971,” he said. Mohanti said if anyone had to go for a second marriage, he first has to apply to the government that would conduct a thorough inquiry to find whether his reasons for divorcing were right or justified.
“Without a prior approval of the government, the government employees, as per Government Employees Service Conduct Rules, 1971, can’t marry again,” he said. On whether Police or the government had taken religious leaders into confidence, Mohanti said, “There was no need as conduct rules take precedence over other affairs and even the Supreme Court in a case clearly stated that religion is a matter of faith and bigamy is counter to morality, public order and health.” He said Shariah law is very clear and states that one has to take care of his wife, take her consent, and give her maintenance. However, Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Bashiruddin told Rising Kashmir that there was no need for anyone to seek permission from the government or Jammu Kashmir Police if he wants to marry a second time. As per the Sharia, the person should be able to do justice to his wives if he marries the second time and if he does, there is no need for him to seek permission from the government or Police.
“People need to seek the counsel of the Ulemas on this issue not the government or Police,” he said. Mufti Bashiruddin said in 1962 when Karan Singh was the Sadder-e-Riyasat, the government had brought a similar ordinance stating that no one would be allowed to marry a second time without the consent of the government. “We rejected it then, we reject it today,” he said. “This is interference in our religion.”
Constitutional and legal expert, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain said second marriages among Kashmiri Muslims happen in rarest of rare cases but the government was raking up irrelevant issues to divert the attention from the real issues. “Marriages among Hindus are governed by the Hindu Law and among Muslims by Shariyat,” he said. “The order is an encroachment in the personal law.” Quoting a survey, Hussain said it had found that polygamy was prevalent more among Hindus in India than Muslims. “They are raking up irrelevant issues to keep people busy,” he said. “Earlier, they ordered guest control at a time when there is no season of marriage functions.”
(Courtesy Rising Kashmir)
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