Converting to Islam to marry a second spouse is bigamy

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 23) – A particular person who converts to Islam and then contracts a 2nd marriage whilst the preceding one stays lawfully in impact will be accused of bigamy, according to the Supreme Courtroom.

In a choice penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen and released on Monday, the court docket mentioned conversion to Islam in this situation does not exempt one particular from criminal legal responsibility.

“A get together to a civil marriage who converts to Islam and contracts a further relationship, inspite of the very first marriage’s subsistence, is guilty of bigamy. Also responsible is the wife or husband in the subsequent marriage,” the verdict read through.

The significant court was affirming a Court docket of Appeals (CA) ruling in 2015 in which a few married less than Muslim regulation had been uncovered guilty of bigamy. This criminal offense carries a penalty of imprisonment of up to 12 decades.

The couple in question – who turned to the Supreme Courtroom to assail the CA determination – admitted they got married in 2005 even when the man’s relationship to his initially wife had still to be lawfully dissolved.

The petitioners claimed they could not be penalized for bigamy as they transformed to Islam prior to their marriage. They argued that the Muslim Code – and not the standard regulation, or the Civil Code – applies in their situation.

But the Supreme Court pointed out that when Islamic regulation enables polygyny, it only does so in “extraordinary situations,” in distinct, if the Muslim males “can deal with [their wives] with equal companionship and just procedure.”

It added that the Muslim Code is not applicable in the claimed circumstance since the first wife is a non-Muslim.

“Article 13(2) of the Muslim Code explicitly spells out that the Civil Code governs marriages in which possibly party is non-Muslim and which had been not solemnized in Muslim rites. There is no conflict with basic regulation right here,” it wrote.

In its 17-web site selection, the high courtroom also mentioned the “contemporary” but “illegal” follow in the place exactly where males convert to Islam as option to divorce.

“Conversion to Islam to remarry and circumvent the guidelines on bigamy generates authorized tensions as it exploits the protecting mantle of spiritual liberty under the Structure,” the court docket said.

“This Court docket ought to not condone methods which circumvent guidelines in the guise of preserving lifestyle,” it extra.