Colombo, Feb 7 – A report on changes to Sri Lanka’s Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is in its final stages, the head of the committee preparing it said.
Former Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Saleem Marsoof said views from many concerned organizations were sought and received, which had to be considered before coming up with the report, the Economynext reported.
“The Committee is now in the process of finalising its Report, and would like to announce to the general public with utmost responsibility that it is working unitedly to make its recommendations for the amendment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act in such a manner that will benefit the Muslim community at large,” he said in a statement.
The Committee to recommend changes to the 1951 Act was appointed in July 2009 by the former Minister of Justice and Law Reform Milinda Moragoda.
The full statement is reproduced below:
Press Release issued by former Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Saleem Marsoof PC, as the Chairman of the Committee appointed to make recommendations for the amendment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.
The Committee appointed in July 2009 by the former Minister of Justice and Law Reform Hon. Milinda Moragoda with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, to consider and recommend amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act No 13 of 1951, has decided to issue this press release in response to certain concerns expressed by some members of the public, in newspaper articles and social media.
In view of the extremely sensitive nature of the issues involved, this Committee called for representations form the public through notices published in English, Tamil and Sinhalese newspapers. Apart from the very respected Quazis, theologians, lawyers, scholars, and researchers, who have sent their views and suggestions, detailed representations were also received from associations such as the Council of Muslims of Sri Lanka, the All Ceylon YMMA Conference, The Muslim Lawyers’ Association, the All Ceylon Muslim Marriage Registrars’ Association, the Quazi Judges’ Forum of Sri Lanka, the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum, the Kandy Forum, the Galle Muslim Cultural Association and the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema, to name only a few.
This Committee had to necessarily take time to examine in great depth all the views, proposals and other representations received from the public, and in order to facilitate the process, had several public sittings to clarify and verify these representations.
For this purpose, the Committee also had several consultations with the Fathwa Committee of the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema as well as the Director and staff of Jamiah Naleemiah. This Committee has given anxious consideration to the problems faced by the public and their many concerns, in the context of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), Sri Lanka’s Constitution and the applicable laws and procedures, and has attempted to evolve solutions to some serious social and legal problems and issues in harmony with the law of the country.
As you may be aware, this Committee consists of erudite personalities in the caliber of reputed scholars, renowned lawyers and other professionals, who are conscious of the need to bring about urgent and appropriate reforms to both the substantial and procedural laws constituting the Quazi Court system consistently with the principles enshrined in the Holy Quran, Hadis, Ijma and Qiyas.
The Committee is now in the process of finalising its Report, and would like to announce to the general public with utmost responsibility that it is working unitedly to make its recommendations for the amendment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act in such a manner that will benefit the Muslim community at large.