SC Seeks Centre's Response on Plea Against Polygamy, Nikah Halala

27 March, 2018, 18:56 | Author: Judith Dennis
  • SC seeks Centre's views on practices of polygamy, 'nikah halala'

After declaring instant triple talaq invalid under the Constitution, the Supreme Court on Monday formed a Constitution Bench to examine the validity of Muslim personal law practices of polygamy and nikah halala.

The practice of "Nikah Halala" requires the divorced woman to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then get a divorce in order to again marry her first husband under the Muslim personal law.

The bench issued notices to the union government and the attorney general on the petition filed by the woman, Sameena Begum. It said the CJI will decide the Constitution Bench. The court examined the prayers similar in each petition demanding that the twin practices of nikah halala and polygamy be declared unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights of Muslim women under Article 14 (right to equality), Article 15 (right against discrimination), and Article 21 (right to live with dignity).

"Other questions raised in the connected writ petitions, such as, polygamy and nikah halala (-and other allied matters), would be dealt with separately".

The court observed that the five-judge bench which examined instant "triple talaq" a year ago had kept open the issues of polygamy and "nikah halala". The Court directed the petitioner to serve a copy on the Centre for seeking their response.

Nikah Mutah and Nikah Misyar are both temporary marriages where duration of the relationship is specified and agreed upon in advance. In PILs filed, the petitioner now sought a declaration where Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, as unconstitutional.

Nafisa too underwent torture and harassment in marriage and was left remediless under law when her husband married another woman without giving her divorce.

He sought a declaration "that the provisions of the IPC are applicable on all Indian citizens and triple talaq is a cruelty under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the IPC, "nikah-halala" is rape under section 375 (rape) of the IPC, and polygamy is an offence under section 494 (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) of the IPC".

In August previous year, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar had said "we have taken a conscious decision to deal only with triple talaq and not polygamy or "nikah halala".

The top court also allowed Muslim Women Resistance Committee, Kolkata to file an application for impleadment as a party in the hearing.

Delhi BJP leader Aswini Kumar Upadhyay, who filed a PIL on March 5, claimed that the ban on polygamy and nikah-halala was the need of the hour to secure basic rights.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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