Sanjay-Manyata marriage hits legal snags

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt's registered marriage with his partner Manyata may face legal hassles as it is in violation of the Muslim Personal Law (MPL), according to a legal expert.

As per the MPL, a Muslim woman cannot marry a man of any other religion unless she converts herself to the religion of her would-be husband or vice-versa, Bombay High Court advocate and MPL expert Neelofar S. Akhtar said here Saturday.

In the case of Manyata, a Muslim by birth, there is no proof that she converted to Hinduism before she married Dutt, save for the fact that she had earlier adopted a Hindu name, Akhtar told IANS.

Dutt and Manyata had a court marriage in Goa Feb 7.

Commenting on the reports that Manyata's former husband, Meeraj-ur-Rehman, moved a petition in the Bandra Magistrate's court that his marriage with Manyata has not been dissolved, Neelofar said he must have filed for restoration of conjugal right provided he is having a nikaahnama (marriage certificate).

Neelofar said if Rehman has not divorced Manyata nor has she sought khula (divorce at her behest) from him, then her marriage to Dutt is automatically rendered invalid.

Now the case would depend on whether Manyata can produce the official talaaqnaama (divorce certificate), or khulanama (divorce at wife's behest), or mubarranama (divorce by mutual consent).

Additionally, Neelofar said while the duo's marriage in Goa is proper, the marriage certificate issued by the Goa marriage registrar could be struck down as illegal.

"This is because though a person can get married anywhere in India under the Special Marriages Act, the marriage can be registered only in the state where he or she is domiciled."

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