AIMPLB moves SC to oppose plea on polygamy

AIMPLB moves SC to oppose plea on polygamy

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All India Muslim Personal Law Board has moved the Supreme Court to oppose a PIL for declaring 'Nikah Halala' and polygamy as unconstitutional, saying it was beyond the court's concern to allow a member of other religions to question the practices, founded on 'Holy Quran'.

While polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives, 'Nikah Halala' is a process in which a Muslim woman, who wants to re-marry her husband after divorce, has to first marry another person and get a divorce from the second person after the consummating the marriage.

In an impleadment application, the organisation of Muslim Ulemas and intellectuals contended that the law was founded on the 'Holy Quran' and 'Hadith' and its validity can't be tested on a challenge based on fundamental rights.

Delhi BJP leader and advocate Ashwini K Upadhyay, along with others, has challenged the validity of both the practices.

The organisation, registered as a society, also submitted that ordinarily any person other than a member of religious denomination, should not be allowed to question the faith of another religious denomination.

"A member of the religious denomination of that particular faith, in the event of a violation of fundamental rights, only to the extent of the threat to life and liberty, may be permitted to seek the protection of the court and determine the issue of faith arising therefrom," it said.

It said the framers of the Constitution were fully conscious of the difficulties in enforcing the Uniform Civil Code and thus deliberately refrained from interfering with the provisions of personal law and laid down only a directive principle under Article 44 of the Constitution, which is not enforceable. It also cited the 1997 case of Ahmedabad Women Action Group and others, to point out the only legislature can deal with such matters and it did not fall within the scope of the judiciary.

In a landmark decision, the apex court had on August 22, 2017, banned the age-old practice of instant 'triple talaq' among Sunni Muslims, after declaring it as unconstitutional. It, however, had left the issue of polygamy and 'Nikah Halala' for consideration before another bench.