The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961:

The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance1961

The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 enacted to give effect to certain recommendations of the Commission on Marriage and Family Laws. It is applicable to all Muslim citizens of Bangladesh. The provisions of this Ordinance shall have effect notwithstanding any law, custom or usage. In this article we will discuss only some of the important Sections of the Ordinance. 

  • Section 4: Succession

In the event of the death of any son or daughter of the propositus before the opening of succession, the children of such son or daughter, if any, living at the time the succession opens, shall per stirpes receive a share equivalent to the share which such son or daughter, as the case may be, would have received if alive.

  • Section 6: Polygamy

(1) No man, during the subsistence of an existing marriage, shall, except with the previous permission in writing of the Arbitration Council, contract another marriage, nor shall any such marriage contracted without such permission be registered under the Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act, 1974 .
(2) An application for permission under sub-section (1) shall be submitted to the Chairman in the prescribed manner,
together with the prescribed fee, and shall state the reasons for the proposed marriage, and whether the consent of the existing wife or wives has been obtained thereto.
(3) On receipt of the application under sub-section (2), the Chairman shall ask the applicant and his existing wife or wives each to nominate a representative, and the Arbitration Council so constituted may, if satisfied that the proposed marriage is necessary and just, grant, subject to such conditions, if any, as may be deemed fit, the permission applied for.
(4) In deciding the application the Arbitration Council shall record its reasons for the decision, and any party may, in the prescribed manner, within the prescribed period, and on payment of the prescribed fee, prefer an application for revision  to the Assistant Judge concerned and his decision shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court.
(5) Any man who contracts another marriage without the permission of the Arbitration Council shall-
(a) pay immediately the entire amount of the dower, whether prompt or deferred, due to the existing wife or wives, which amount, if not so paid, shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue; and
(b) on conviction upon complaint be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand taka, or with both.

  • Section 7: Talaq

(1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of talaq in any form whatsoever, give the Chairman notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.
(2) Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to 10[ten thousand taka] or with both.
(3) Save as provided in sub-section (5), a talaq unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from the day on which notice under sub-section (1) is delivered to the Chairman.
(4) Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under sub-section (1), the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.
(5) If the wife be pregnant at the time talaq is pronounced, talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in sub-section (3) or the pregnancy, whichever be later, ends.
(6) Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by talaq effective under this section from re-marrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third-person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.

  • Section 8: Dissolution of marriage otherwise than by talaq

Where the right to divorce has been duly delegated to the wife and she wishes to exercise that right, or where any of the parties to a marriage wishes to dissolve the marriage otherwise than by talaq, the provisions of section 7 shall, mutatis mutandis and so far as applicable, apply.

  • Section 09: Maintenance

(1) If any husband fails to maintain his wife adequately, or where there are more wives than one, fails to maintain them equitably, the wife, or all or any of the wives, may in addition to seeking, any other legal remedy available apply to the Chairman who shall constitute an Arbitration Council to determine the matter, and the Arbitration Council may issue a certificate specifying the amount which shall be paid as maintenance by the husband.
(2) A husband or wife may, in the prescribed manner, within the prescribed period, and on payment of the prescribed fee, prefer an application for revision of the certificate to the Assistant Judge concerned and his decision shall be final and shall not be called in question in any Court.
(3) Any amount payable under sub-section (1) or (2), if not paid in due time, shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.

  • Section 10: Dower

Where no details about the mode of payment of dower are specified in the nikah nama, or the marriage contract, the entire amount of the dower shall be prescribed to be payable on demand.

  • Section 11A: Place of Trail

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an offence under this Ordinance shall be tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-
(a) the offence was committed; or
(b) the complainant or the accused resides or last resided.