Indian court probing constitutional validity of Muslim polygamy | The Daily Star
03:29 PM, March 26, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:41 PM, March 26, 2018

Indian court probing constitutional validity of Muslim polygamy

India’s top court today agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the prevailing practices of polygamy and 'nikahhalala' among Muslims and asked the government and the Law Commission to give their view on the issues.

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, considered the submission that the previous five-judge constitution bench had, in its landmark verdict in August last year banned instant triple talaq and kept open the issue of polygamy and 'nikahhalala' while quashing triple talaq-e-biddat, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Today, the bench, which also comprises Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said a fresh five-judge constitution bench would be set up to deal with the constitutionality of 'nikahhalala' and polygamy.

Polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives while 'nikahhalala' deals with the process in which a Muslim woman has to marry another person and get divorced from him before being allowed to marry her divorcee husband again.

One petitioner, a lawyer, has argued that while Muslim personal law allows a man to have multiple wives by way of the temporary marriages, the same permission is not extended to women and therefore the law violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women.

In a historic ruling in August last year, the five-member bench of the apex court, by a majority of 3:2, had held instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.

The bench was hearing at least three petitions challenging the practices on various grounds including that they violate the right to equality and gender justice.

The apex court today noted that the five-judge bench which examined instant triple talaq and pronounced their order in August last year had kept open the issues of polygamy and 'nikahhalala'.

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