Law to regulate govt employees’ marriage with foreigners

Government employees must obtain presidential assent to marry or agree to marry a foreign national

The government proposed a bill in parliament that would regulate the nuptials of all public servants with foreigners, reports said in Dhaka on Thursday.

Local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam on Wednesday night proposed the bill titled Public Servants (Marriage with Foreign Nationals) Bill, 2015 that suggested the government employees must obtain presidential assent to marry or even agree to marry a foreign national.

laws“A public servant who contravenes the provisions shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or in the terms and conditions of his service, be liable to be removed from service,” the bill read.

A parliamentary secretariat official told Gulf News that in line with the Rules of Business, the speaker forwarded the bill to the parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Administration Ministry for scrutiny within 60 days.

The bill would then return to the house with the committee’s recommendations and opinions for subsequent measures.

A law ministry official familiar with the process said the proposed law is virtually a replacement of a 1976 ordinance that was promulgated under a martial law order while the country was run under military rule.

“The Supreme Court in 2009 declared null and void all the martial law ordinances from 1976 to 1979, largely requiring many of the laws to be redrafted, this time in Bangla and in cases adding some new provisions,” he told Gulf News.

The law on marriage to foreign nationals previously appeared more stringent for foreign and armed services officials while for the military, navy and air force officers, military intelligence reports are required if they intended to marry foreigners.

Bangladeshi diplomats for a long time needed to follow a stricter provision, which required them to take official permission even to marry nationals while virtually being debarred from marrying foreign ones until 2008.

The 2006-2008 military-backed interim government had relaxed the restrictions for Foreign Service officials, allowing them to marry foreigners with the president’s permission.

The decision at that time came after the then Bangladesh permanent representative to United Nations, Ismat Jahan, expressed her desire to marry a Dutch national even at the risk of losing her job.

“Not everyone was as lucky as Jahan, as former Bangladesh envoy in Kuala Lumpur Wazed Ali Khan had to quit his job [for] marrying a Pakistani woman for violating the service rules,” a foreign service official told Gulf News.

Two foreign office directors Hamidur Rashid and Anisul Haque also have foreign wives — they obtained foreign ministry permission before their weddings.

-Gulf News