Muslim Lawyer In Kerala To "Marry His Wife Again" To Ensure Equal Inheritance For His Daughters
Advocate C Shukkur who practices in Kasargod, Kerala has announced on Facebook that he will marry his wife again on International Women's Day tomorrow.
In 1994, Shukkur married his wife Dr. Sheena as per Islamic rites and rituals. They have three daughters. He says in his Facebook post that two motor accidents where he escaped death narrowly, prompted him to do what he has now proposed.
He says that as per the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, only two third of his and his wife's assets will be inherited by their three daughters while one-third will go to his and his wife's siblings after their death. He says that this is so as per Islamic law because they do not have a son but only daughters. He says that if had a son, all his property would have been inherited by his children.
"Only because we have girl children, we are having to face this discrimination. Even a 'Will' is not possible as per Sharia law", he says in his Facebook post that has now been widely reported in the media.
"In a country where Article 14 of the Constitution adopted in the year 1950 provides for equality irrespective of caste, religion, race or sex, it is unfortunate that children of Muslims alone are having to face discrimination on the basis of sex", he says.
He announced that on March 8, his marriage with his wife will be registered under Section 15 of the Special Marriages Act, 1954. "In other words, this is our second marriage", he added.
"When there is a system in place in the name of Islam that is against the concept of equality, for justice, I am taking refuge in our Constitution," he said in his post.
Advocate Shukkur's decision got mixed reactions on social media. While some raised questions about the legal consequence of registering his marriage under the Special Marriages Act, others asked whether he himself was a beneficiary of the alleged discrimination under Islamic law.
Section 15 of the Special Marriages Act provides for the registration of marriage where the ceremony of marriage has been performed between the parties and they have been living together as husband and wife.
Responding to criticism on social media, Advocate Shukkur has said that he has three brothers and two sisters and their mother's estate was divided equally among all his siblings, including his sisters, without any discrimination. He also said that the argument that he could have gifted his property to his daughters instead of choosing the path he has adopted is not correct since his daughters receiving gifts during his lifetime is not an alternative to his daughters inheriting his property after his death.
He also said that many others including two former Judges of the Kerala High Court have resorted to this method to ensure that their daughters get equal rights. He added that Uniform Civil Code is not a solution to this issue and that Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 should be amended to resolve this problem.
He said that giving equal rights to girl children is a matter of human rights and urged people to support human rights.