DIVORCE AND SUBSEQUENT FALSE ALLEGATIONS

Published by The Daily Star on 30th April, 2011 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.


Query

It was an arranged marriage which occurred in 2nd april 2009 since then my life became really complicated. First few months of my marriage life the only complain of my wife were to live separately from my father and mother. As she said I did rent a separate house which was near my in-laws as my wife wanted so. Recently after a year or so of that separation from my family, she is asking me to finish all my connection with my family and live with her parents. They are very well off and my wife is involved with a high standard of profession as well. Now the problem is I want a divorce and to avoid all these problems I decided to go abroad for my further higher studies after giving a proper divorce. I am even willing to give all kind of maintenance and pay the dower money. But the problem is I am concern about the legal consequences. If I give divorce to her I am pretty much sure that my in-laws will put me into false allegation like “nari nirjaton ain”. In based on this scenario I want to ask you that what kind of allegation I may face and how this can be avoided or resolved.

Helpless,
Nazimuddin Road, Dhaka.

Response
We would like to thank you very much for your inquiry. We have fully understood your situation and it is a very generic problem for many married couples now-a-days. Considering the issue of divorce, it is governed by the personal law to which each individual belongs to. Under the Muslim law, the husband has the inherent right to divorce. In case of a mutually agreed divorce, it is actually a very easy administrative process that can be commenced by both the husband and wife by going to a Quazi office. In case of unilateral divorce (which is relevant here), you may unilaterally initiate the process of divorce by serving a notice to your wife through the Quazi and/or a lawyer. Once the process is started it will take around hundred days to complete the total process and get the divorce registered as per law.

As you are willing to pay the maintenance and dower, there cannot be any lawful claim against you arising out of the divorce. However, as you have mentioned, it is not impossible to bring allegations of torture against you though in a false and fabricated manner but only with an ulterior motive of harassment. There is neither any legal way in which you can protect yourself from such malicious prosecution nor can you take any protective measure as several legal provisions enacted to protect women have been misused to cause illegitimate oppression to men. At best, while affecting your divorce i.e. after serving the notice of divorce to your wife, you may file a General Diary (GD) before the concerned police station stating the fact of any likely threats of false prosecution by your wife or her family. Since the provisions of the Anti-Women and Children Oppression Act are considerably harsh against the accused, to protect malicious prosecution, the Act provides for penalty and fine in case someone lodges a false complain or case against any other person. If you see that your wife or her family is really serious in materializing her threats, you may mention the aforesaid provision to her with a view to convince her not to do anything imprudent and put herself into jeopardy of prosecution as well.

We always look for an amicable solution to the problem being encountered by you. If it is possible you should talk to your wife and her family with an open mind and try to settle the same internally. If you cannot mutually reach a decision it may be wise to invite a common friend or a mutually trusted person to give some positive inputs to facilitate your discussion. If nothing helps or when it is impossible to continue the relationship, then again further discussion may help. In such cases the couple should understand what their best interest is. If their best interest lies in divorce, then each partner shall help the other in completing the process.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com.