The High Court yesterday ordered the government to explain in four weeks why it should not be directed to formulate a set of guidelines for the Arbitration Board to ensure child custody, alimony and other expenses in the spirit of the holy Quran and international conventions after one gets a divorce notice from their spouse.
In the rule, the court also asked the respondents to explain why they should not be ordered to make the arbitration board effective to solve these issues.
The Cabinet Division, law ministry, women and children affairs ministry, LGRD ministry as well as the Law Commission's chairman have been made respondents to the rule.
Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader gave the ruling following a writ petition filed by Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association Secretary Seema Zahur and its lawyer Kazi Muruful Alam.
They submitted the petition after Bangla daily Prothom Alo published a report on August 27, 2018, headlined “One divorce per hour in Dhaka”.
Under the Muslim Family Act 1961, a divorce becomes effective in 90 days after issuance of a divorce notice if the husband or wife does not resolve the matter among themselves or apple for its withdrawal, said petitioners' lawyer Fawzia Karim Feroze.
The Arbitration Board calls the husband and wife thrice during this period and if none of them respond, the divorce becomes effective.
But the issues such as child's custody, alimony and other expenses remain unresolved. This is why many people file cases that take long to be resolved, Fawzia said.