Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt was 'extremely relieved' after a Mumbai court Wednesday said his marriage with Manyata was legal and overruled a lower court's order annulling it.
Hearing a case filed by Manyata, the Sessions Court said the order passed by the Bandra metropolitan magistrate was not valid as she had been legally divorced from her first husband Mehraj-ul-Rehman.
Mehraj Feb 15 petitioned the Bandra metropolitan magistrate that he married Manyata in 2003 and their marriage was still valid as he had not divorced her yet.
On appeal from Manyata, the Sessions Court upheld her contention that her marriage to Mehraj was dissolved as she had divorced him through 'khula'.
Additional Sessions Judge S.N. Sardesai ruled that the divorce between Manyata and Mehraj was legal as per the Muslim Marriage Act and a woman was free to marry a person of her choice after getting divorced as per law.
The Bandra magistrate's court had earlier said that as per the Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, the Muslim cleric (qazi) had no power to dissolve a marriage without the husband's consent. It had termed as false Manyata's claim that she and Mehraj were divorced on grounds that there was no substantial evidence to back it.
The Sessions Court also rejected as illegal the magistrate's order asking Sanjay and Manyata to appear before it.
After the judgement, the actor said: 'I'm extremely relieved by the court verdict.'
The couple had a court wedding in Goa Feb 7. Four days later, they married in Mumbai according to Hindu rituals.
Mehraj, currently behind bars in an extortion case, had claimed that Manyata's marriage with the star was illegal since she had not yet divorced him.
Meanwhile, Dutt is expected to leave for US shortly to meet his daughter Trishala.