Condoning

In one dark night, Kolimuddi kidnapped Rahima from her house and got caught by the village guard—Ansar. Ansar hurriedly performed a marriage ceremony between Kolimuddi and Rahima.

For decades, people of that village will question—why the Ansar would do such a thing? His opponents would argue, he should have saved Rahima from Kolimuddi instead of legalising the abduction. His supporters would argue that the Ansar had no choice but to make Kolimuddi marry her to save her honour. Whatever the case may be, by the next year, Kolimiddi and Rahima had their first child—Nuru Mia. Few more years passed… Nuru Mia enrolled in a school. And then the unexpected thing happened.

You see, Kolimuddi did not take a birth certificate from the local council when Nuru was born. He feared, this might reveal his kidnap case. But now that Nuru is enrolled in the school, a birth certificate is needed. School contacted the local council, the local council enquired Kolimuddi’s marriage details… and then, long story short, everything came out. Soon the local Morol called on Kolimuddi and Rahima to a village Shalish.

: Are you two married? Asked the Morol.

: Yes Hujur, the Anser performed our marriage. Said Kolimuddi to assure him.

: What? Anser? What jurisdiction does he have to conduct a marriage? Asked the angry Morol.

: Hujur, we don’t know anything. The Anser told us that we are married and could live together. Replied nervous Kolimuddi.

: No no no.. this is injustice, this is illegal. The kidnap is illegal. Cried the Morol. The marriage is illegal. Don’t you know that the Ansar cannot perform marriage? I knew that Ansar, he was a bad, baaaaad person…

: Hujur, what are you saying? What will happen to us now? Where will I go? Morol was interrupted by weeping Rahima who was getting impatient and disgusted by the ordeal.

: Don’t stop me when I give my verdict! Yelled the Morol. As I was saying, the Ansar was so bad… soooo bad…

And the Morol went on for an hour. Then he looked at the audience. They are not paying attention. What’s wrong with these people? Where has all the patience gone! In a disappointed face, Morol went on to finish his verdict:

: As I was saying, the Ansar was very bad. He was supposed to protect Rahima when she was kidnapped. That’s the duty of the village guard. But he did not. He did not have the moral or legal right to perform the marriage. So I now pronounce you NOT husband and wife. You may kick goodbye to each other now.

By the time the verdict ended, it was late night. But the couple ran to the Union’s Kazi office to appeal against Morol’s verdict. The Kazi’s office was closed and he was preparing to sleep at home. But nothing stoped the desperation of the now-invalid couple. They went to his home. So Kazi listened to them, halted Morol’s verdict and promised that he will review Morol’s verdict the next morning. At least they could legally sleep together that night!

The next day, however, Kazi upheld Morol’s verdict, but with some observations.

: I’m upholding Morol’s verdict since the Ansar’s act was in breach of law. But I know it’s been long and you have a kid now. So, while I rule the whole marriage as illegal, I cannot but ‘condone’ some fallouts of the marriage. In everyone’s interest, I thus condone the birth of your baby.

For few weeks, Rahima tried to collect a divorce paper from the Kazi office. But Kazi ruled that she doesn’t need a divorce paper, since the marriage has already been void automatically. She tried to collect a birth certificate, but the Council was confused as to what was meant by ‘condoning of the birth’.

Last thing we know, the Kazi was insisting the Council to print the birth certificate and the Council appointed a committee to determine what to print.

[All characters appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or to any incident, legal or illegal, is purely coincidental.]

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