March 26, 2018
Earlier, this month we had reported (read here) that a Petition has been instituted with the Supreme Court seeking declaration of Polygamy and Nikah-Halala as unconstitutional. Similar petitions have been instituted in the Apex Court 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 Supreme Court today while taking up batch of such petitions has now referred the matter to Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court. The Petitions condemns 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 Petitions 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.