March 06, 2018
It has been reported that a Petition has been instituted with the Supreme Court seeking declaration of Polygamy and Nikah-Halala as unconstitutional. The said subsequent development comes in the wake of triple talaq being declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court in August 2017 and thereafter introduction of the Triple Talaq bill i.e.The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha.
The Petitioner who is an advocate and social activist has prayed to declare Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, insofar as it seeks to recognize and validate the practice of Polygamy and Nikah-Halala.
The Petitioner in the case has additionally prayed the Supreme Court to declare that “Triple Talaq is cruelty under Section 498A of the IPC, 1860, Nikah-Halala is Rape under Section 375 of the IPC,1860, and Polygamy is an offence under Section 494 of the IPC,1860”.
The Petition throws light on the practice of Nikah-Halala by stating that once a Muslim woman has been divorced, her husband is not permitted to take her back even if he had pronounced Talaq under influence of any intoxicant, unless his wife undergoes Nikah-Halala, which involves her marriage with another man, who subsequently divorces her so that her previous husband can re-marry her.
The Petition further states that Polygamy has been recognized as an evil plague similar to sati and has been banned under Section 494 of the IPC however the practice continues to vex Muslim women notwithstanding that such practice poses extremely serious health, social, economic, moral and emotional injury.