Supreme Court to examine Muslim women's rights

Supreme Court to examine Muslim women's rights

The Supreme Court has decided to examine if Muslim women face gender discrimination in cases of divorce or second marriage by their husband.

A bench of Justices Anil R Dave and A K Goel ordered registration of a PIL and for putting it up before the new bench to deal with the issues related to the challenge to the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act.

This court requested the Chief Justice of India to constitute an “appropriate bench” to examine the question.

The court noted that the issue was not merely a policy matter, but concerned the fundamental rights of the women guaranteed under the constitution. The court issued notice to Attorney General and National Legal Services Authority seeking their response by November 23, 2015. The court also asked the other counsel to assist it in hearing the matter.

Hearing a matter related to Hindu succession (amendment) act, the bench noted that “an important issue of gender discrimination which though not directly involved in this appeal, has been raised by some of the counsel for the parties that concern rights of Muslim women. Discussions on gender discrimination led to this issue also.”

“It was pointed out that despite the guarantee of the constitution, Muslim women are subjected to discrimination. There is no safeguard against arbitrary divorce and second marriage by her husband during currency of the first marriage, resulting in denial of dignity and security to her,” it noted.

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