Actor Sanjay Dutt and partner Maanyata , the validity of whose recent marriage in Goa was questioned by that state’s government, on Monday challenged in the sessions court the summons issued to them by a Bandra metropolitan court in a case of bigamy.
Meraj alias Rehman had registered the case of bigamy against Maanyata, claiming he married her first and is still her husband. On March 12, the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate had, while hearing his case, summoned Dutt and Maanyata to appear before the court on April 15. Additional Sessions Judge SN Sardesai stayed the magistrate court’s order summoning Dutt and Maanyata. The court kept the case for hearing on April 23.
The criminal revision application challenging the legality of the lower court order stated “the alleged marriage at Goa is a nullity”. The application stated that Dutt was a Hindu and Maanyata a Muslim, “as such there is no material to show that they are validly married in the eyes of law”. The plea said Maanyata had obtained khulla talaq — divorce at the instance of the wife — and had approached a kazi who dissolved her first marriage.
Magistrate Pankaj Shah had stated that the kazi had no powers to dissolve marriages. But Dutt and Maanyata said the magistrate had “no jurisdiction” to decide on the validity of the divorce’s as it is an “exclusive domain of civil courts”, and that a kazi is empowered under Sharia, or Muslim religious law, to affirm the dissolution.