Article of 24 of Family Protection Bill May Be Eliminated

Mehr News Agency: Member of the Parliamentary Judicial and Legal Commission reported that the Commission has approved Article 22 of the Family Protection Bill, addressing the registration of temporary marriage and explained that: “the majority of the members of the Parliamentary Commission are in favor of omitting Article 24 of the Family Protection Bill.”

With respect to the process of review and approval of the remaining Articles of this Bill Member of Parliament Mohammad Dehghan explained: “the process of reviewing the remaining articles of the Bill has yet to be complete and only Article 22 has been approved with modifications.”

He explained further that: “We are not in a hurry to review and approve the two remaining articles and we are trying to invite expert opinion on these two Articles and after utilizing expert opinions we will address this issue. In this way, our fellow Parliamentarians will also be better convinced to accept the recommendations of the Commission.”

This Member of Parliament explained further that: “the content of Article 22 has not changed significantly, but a provision has been added to it. In addition to requiring that temporary marriages (Sigheh) be registered in the case of pregnancy, or the agreement of the parties, conditions specified in the marriage contract make registration of temporary marriage obligatory.” He also explained that: “We may have some corrections to Article 23. There are suggestions in the Commission with respect to changes in this Article, which we are currently reviewing.”

Dehgan also commented on Article 24 by stating that: “Article 24, with respect to setting approved standards and limits for Mehrieh (sum agreed to in the Marriage contract and payable to the Bride on Demand), the members of the Commission feel that this requirement may bring about misunderstanding and as such they are thinking of eliminating this Article altogether.”

According to this Article, the head of the Judiciary determines and sets a standard sum for Mehriehs and in the case when the Mehrieh is not paid to the bride on her demand, the man will be forced to go to prison. But in the case of Mehrieh’s which are not in line with standards identified by the government, and given that proving lack of compatibility with standards may prove difficult, since social and economic circumstances of the groom in different cities is a factor, then there is no prison associated with a man’s inability to pay non-standard Mehrieh sums. [It should be noted that because women often have a difficult time obtaining divorce Mehrieh has become a bargaining chip for women seeking contested divorces.]

This Member of Parliament further explained that: “we are committed to seeking expert opinion, so we are not in a rush to review these Articles. In this way we can ensure that what we send back to the full Parliament will be good enough to be approved.”

After review by the Judicial and Legal Commission of the Parliament, the review process will be turned over to the Personal Laws Committee, for more precise and detailed examination of the three Articles. The further review of these contested Articles is taking place despite the fact that the review of the rest of the Family Protection Bill came to a close in September in the full Parliament.

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