In a sharp remark on the Muslim Personal Law, the Gujarat High Court has observed that Muslim men are misinterpreting Quran’s provision of polygamy for ‘selfish reasons’ to have more than one wife.
In the mid 1980s, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s fiddling with Muslim Personal Law in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in now famous Shah Bano case had generated a surge in the Hindu sentiments in the country which finally catapulted the then two-MP party, BJP into the national mainstream.
The single judge bench of Justice J B Pardiwala also said on Thursday (November 5) that it is time for a uniform civil code as such provisions like polygamy are in violation of the Constitution. The High Court was hearing the petition of one Muslim citizen, Jafar Abbas Merchant who wanted quashing of the FIR filed against him by his first wife as he had later married another woman too.
In his petition before the High Court, Jafar Abbas has claimed that the Muslim Personal Law allows him to marry four times and thus the FIR against him is not admissible. Pronouncing his judgement, Justice Pardiwala commented “the Quran is being misinterpreted by Muslim men to have more than one wife.”
“Polygamy finds mention in the Quran only once, and it is about conditional polygamy”, Justice Pardiwala said adding that Muslim men are misusing that provision for selfish reasons.
Justice Pardiwala also observed that Muslim Personal Law does not permit a Muslim to treat one wife cruelly, drive her out of the matrimonial home and then get married for the second time. Modern and progressive thinking India must shun the practice and establish uniform civil code, Justice Pardiwala suggested in his judgment.