Apex court seeks Govt's reply on plea against polygamy, nikah halala
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to respond to a plea seeking to declare the provisions of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) validating the practice of polygamy and 'nikah halala' as unconstitutional.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, while issuing notice to the Centre and the National Commission for Women, also ordered tagging of the petition with other similar pleas which have already been referred to a five-judge constitution bench for further hearing.
The order came on a separate petition, filed by Lucknow resident Naish Hasan. Senior lawyer VK Shukla and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay representing Hasan said similar pleas have already been admitted for hearing by a five-judge constitution bench.
"Declare Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14(Equality before law), 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution, insofar as it seeks to recognise and validate the practice of Polygamy, Nikah Halala, Nikah Mutah and Nikah Misyar," the plea said.
Naish Hasan, in the fresh petition, said the pivotal issue that needed to be answered was whether under a secular Constitution, women, merely by virtue of their religious identity, can be relegated to a status significantly more vulnerable than their counterparts professing other faiths.