The main provisions of the Christian community are those of the marriage separation Act, 1869; The Marriage Act, 1972; The Married Women’s Property Act, 1974; The Sussexation Act, 1925; The Code of Canon Law (for Catholics) and applicable laws for families of all religions, such as the Gardens and Words Act, 1890.
Section 1056 of Canon Act states that the main features of Christian marriage are unity and inseparability. In other places, it has also been indirectly referred to as a treaty and civil or civil aspects of marriage have been recognized (eg Section 1059). According to Protestants, marriage is a religious reform. Though there are differences between the two sub-committees with the separation of marriage and marriage, it is equally applicable for both the Divorce Act, 1869. According to this act, the process of severing the relations of the Christian couple is three:-
1. Separation of marriage
The husband may apply for separation in court by accusing him of committing adultery against his wife. But the wife cannot get the same remedies just by accusing her fornication. Here is a serious disparity in the rights of husband and wife.
If a wife’s wife is only fornication, then the wife cannot apply for divorce due to fornication. If the husband is not involved in adultery, apostasy, other marriage, marriage with another woman, adultery with a close relative, polytheism, rape, homosexuality, brutality or atrocity, or without a reasonable reason, the wife should not seek the wife for two years; You can apply for separation. But if the Christian wife does not want to bring any coercion (rape, brutality) against her husband without actually making any other complaint except for fornication, it is not possible to apply for divorce separately. Also, Christian is no scope to apply for a marriage separation on the basis of mutual understanding.
2. Marriage cancellation
Any person can apply to the court to cancel the marriage for the following reasons: 1. The husband was manless at the time of marriage and until the time of filing the case; 2. There is a relationship between marriage parties that are legally banned; 3. The groom or bride was crazy during the marriage; 4. The husband or wife of any previous wife or husband was living at the wedding.
3. Judicial Separation
A husband or wife may file a judicial separation case in court for abandoning each other for two years or more without fornication, cruelty, atrocity or any other reason. In this case, the wife is entitled to all the payments and can spend all her property wisely.
According to the Divorce Act, 1869, there are three forums regarding marriage separation, but society and religious institutions always discourage divorce. According to the Canon law (Article 1083-1094), the refusal of marriage to be considered for cancellation is reflected in the cancellation of the Divorce Act. Canon law means cancellation of marriage means that this marriage is illegal from the beginning, there was never a valid marriage between that man and woman. This marriage does not create rights on each other by canceling it from the beginning. Divorce is also not needed. But when a child is born from such a relationship, that child will become valid and his right to parents’ property is born.
The High Court Division has to ensure the separation and cancellation of marriage between sections 17 and 20 of the Divorce Act 1869, which is difficult for many trial candidates. The separation of marriage between courts is complicated by the fact that the separation and remarriage of marriage between Christians in the Christian community are significantly higher, which puts the second wife and her child in uncertainty. Because the separation of the previous marriage is not complete, the marriage is illegal in Christianity. In the case of Christian marriage, it was easier for the Christian citizen to seek the help of state law for the registration of marriage under the ‘Birth, Death and Marriage Registration Act, 1886’, with the church’s certificate.
The maximum limit of the maintenance of divorce after the separation (Elimni) is 1/5 percent of the husband’s income, which limits the court’s power. The power of determining the amount of maintenance by raising the limits of the maximum limit should be handed over to the court. So that the court can determine the rate considering the overall situation. There is no specific law regarding the adoption of children by Christian women and men. Making separate laws regarding adoption is essential in this period.
Thirty and a half-year-old and old laws are rarely resolved to solve the marital conflict, turmoil, fraud and other problems. The main victims of this condition are women and children. Again, in the case of Christian populations, the co-existence of state and religious law is left in their emotional dilemma and tension. If they fail to get rectified and specific remedies according to the code of canon law, they are subject to state law. But hundreds of years of old law also failed to remedy.
Generally, state law does not interfere with religious law, but if religious law is contrary to the accepted basic rights and documents of international human rights, the responsibility of the state is to make a discriminatory law for everyone regardless of religion, color, race, and gender. Keeping in view the real problems of the Christian family law of Bangladesh, it is necessary to initiate timely reform of the existing laws with all the churches (Catholics and Protestants).
The Indian Catholic World Conference (CBCI) gave full support to this reform, which was recommended by the Commission and passed in Parliament by the reform law in our neighboring country, India. The time has come to reform in Bangladesh, the first step is to create awareness among the Christian community.