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Fresh trouble for Sanjay Dutt

According to a legal expert, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's registered marriage with his partner Manyata may face legal hassles as it is in violation of the Muslim Personal Law.

entertainment Updated: Feb 17, 2008 02:40 IST
Hiren Kotwani

If Sanjay Dutt had hoped that his marriage to Manyata would cap gossip about the couple, he was mistaken. First, it was reported that the couple used forged documents for registering their marriage in Goa on February 7. And now, a man claiming to be Manyata’s husband has filed an application against her and Sanjay Dutt in court.

A writer called Mehraj Rehman, lodged in a jail here, has filed an application in the Bandra Metropolitan Court, praying for proceedings against Dutt and Manyata for ‘violating the Muslim marriage norms’. He claims to have married her on April 5, 2003 and they have a two-and-half year old son. In his application, Rehman maintained that neither of them had sought talaq. Rehman is currently in Arthur Road jail.

The buzz is that Manyata converted for the purpose of marrying Dutt as per Hindu rites on Feburary 12, but several sections have averred that she can’t do so without getting a formal separation from Rehman.

Denying the reports that they married as she was pregnant, in an exclusive interview to HT Café, Dutt said, “There’s no truth to this rumour. Trust me, Manyata isn’t pregnant.”

On the question of the legality of his marriage, Dutt maintained, “My marriage is legal. The media has the photographs. We have spoken about it.” At present, the Dutt couple is staying at their 11th floor home in Imperial Heights, Bandra away from the media glare.

But the officials in the sub-registrar’s office said the documents have been sent to the Law Department for “scrutiny”.

An inquiry has been ordered into the validity of the residence certificate Manyata has submitted. According to G P Nair, Collector of South Goa, the certificate didn’t bear the signature of the senior official issuing it. The certificate carries the signature of a talati (a subordinate officer) instead of that of a mamlatdar (a senior administrative officer). Prashant Cuncolienkar, the talati who issued the residency certificate has been suspended.

The certificate states Manyata had been staying in South Goa for six months, but the local officer asserts he never signed her papers and his signature has been forged.

According to Chandrakant Pissurlekar, Sub-Registrar, South Goa Collectorate, who had accepted the marriage declaration, the couple’s registration proceedings are in abeyance pending further orders. The

authorities will not allow the final signature on the declaration — to be done in 90 days — till the mamlatdar clears the suspension on Manyata’s residency certificate. And without the execution of the second signature, the marriage would be null and void.

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