News

MMDA reforms: Bill to Parliament early next year

By Skandha Gunasekara

The amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) will likely be presented in Parliament in January next year, The Sunday Morning learnt.

When queried on the progress of the MMDA reforms, Minister of Justice Ali Sabry PC told The Sunday Morning that the proposals had been handed over to the Legal Draftsman’s office.

He said that the process of introducing the reforms was in its final stages.

“It’s now with the Legal Draftsman’s office, who will formulate the final draft, and thereafter, it will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers,” Sabry said.

The Minister said that it would take roughly three months before an amendment bill would be presented to Parliament.

“After Cabinet receives the final draft, then it would be gazetted for the public to view. Only then will it be presented to Parliament. The whole thing should take around three months.”

Reforms to the MMDA have been in the pipeline, with the process being dragged for close to a decade due to various obstacles.

The amendment looks to address matters in the current MMDA, particularly on issues related to polygamy among the Muslim community and Quazi courts.

Last week, the Government announced that the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act would also be amended.