At first instance, the judge had held that the couple’s Islamic marriage ceremony performed in a restaurant in London was a void marriage entitling the Petitioner to a decree of nullity and the right to make an application for a financial order under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
The then Attorney General, represented by Deepak Nagpal, appealed. The Court of Appeal (the Master of the Rolls, King and Moylan LJJ) unanimously allowed the appeal. In so doing, the Court of Appeal introduced the term “non-qualifying ceremony” to replace the term “non-marriage”. One of the interveners sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal. The judgment of the Court of Appeal in HM Attorney General v Akhter & Ors  EWCA Civ 122 is now the leading case in this area.