Supreme Court seeks Centre's response on plea challenging polygamy, nikah halala practice

Kenny Tucker
March 27, 2018

They have drawn our attention to various paragraphs of the judgment to buttress the point that the said issues have not been really addressed as there has been no delineation on these aspects.

Moreover, the petition seeking a ban on leaders convicted in criminal cases from heading political parties, will also be taken up by the bench.

The SC noted that the five-judge bench which examined instant triple talaq - and pronounced their order in August past year - had kept release the issues of polygamy and "nikah halala". The apex court, which agreed to examine the plea, said a fresh five-judge bench would be set up to look into the matter.

"At this juncture, a submission has been advanced at the Bar that keeping in view the importance of the issue, the matter should be placed before the Constitution Bench".

But it had declined to rule on polygamy, nikah halala and contractual marriages, referred to it by a three-judge bench in 2015, saying these should be considered at a later stage.

The court directed that the copy of the plea be sent to the office of Attorney General K K Venugopal.

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Nikah halala mandates that if a divorced Muslim woman wants to remarry her ex-husband, she must first marry another man, consummate the marriage and divorce him.

Poovaiya who argued for petitioner Hussein also urged the Court to consider the validity of nikah misiyar and nikah muta which allow Muslim men to have a one-night stand marriage or a marriage of pleasure.

When the Supreme Court was deciding the fate of the nonsensical practice of Triple Talaq, they also had 2 other issues on hand to deal with.

Within seven months of declaring talaq e biddat or triple talaq unconstitutional and invalid, on Monday the Supreme Court chose to examine the validity of the practices of polygamy and some other forms of marriages in the Muslim community and referred the case to a Constitution bench to adjudicate.

The petitions challenge the practice on various grounds including violation of Right to Equality and gender justice. "A complete ban on these practices is the need of the hour as they render Muslim women extremely insecure and vulnerable and infringe on their fundamental rights", the petition said.

The top court also allowed Muslim Women Resistance Committee, Kolkata to file an application for impleadment as a party in the hearing. He has contended that nikah halala amounts to rape under Section 375 of the penal code, and polygamy is an offence under Section 494, which deals with bigamy.

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