Ban on polygamy and nikah-halala need of the hour, claims petitioner Upadhyaya.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday, March 26, four PILs challenging the legal validity of polygamy and nikah-halala being practised in Islam.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y Chandrachud will hear the petitions filed by Sameena Begum of Delhi, BJP leader and social activist Ashiwini Kumar Upadhyaya and two others seeking a declaration that Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, as unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, insofar as it seeks to recognise and validate the practice of Polygamy and Nikah-Halala. The apex court is to take up this issue after triple talaq was banned last year.
The petitioner said she was a victim of polygamy and was filing this petition to highlight the plight of thousands of Muslim women across the country suffering due to the draconian practices of “Polygamy” and “Nikah Halala” that are rampant in the Muslim society.
Ms Begum said she got married in 999 to one Javed Anwar and two sons were born out of the said wedlock. All the time when she was at her matrimonial home, she was tortured, bullied, beaten, and was asked to bring money from her parents house. After the repeated tortures, she filed a complaint U/s 498 A of the IPC. Getting infuriated with this, petitioner’s husband sent a letter giving her “Triple Talaq.”
She submitted that Muslim Marriage Dissolution Act 1939 provides nine grounds for dissolution of marriage, including impotency, incapacity to fulfill martial obligations and cruelty but there is no eligibility pre-condition for marriage. There is also no requirement for Muslim husband that the permission of the first wife is to be taken before contracting second marriage. As a result, Muslim male is out of purview of offence of Polygamy. Mr Upadhyaya submitted that ban on Polygamy and Nikah-Halala has been the need of the hour to secure basic rights and in the interest of public order and health. This Court has already expressed the view that triple talaq is not an integral part of religion and Article 25 merely protects religious faith, but not the practices, which may run counter to public order, morality and health and fundamental rights.
He said polygamy is a practice that has been recognised as an evil plague similar to sati.