The Supreme Court on Monday agreed for an urgent listing of petitions against the practices of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims before a five-judge constitution bench for final adjudication.
Considering the submissions of senior advocate V Shekhar that the petitions be listed for urgent hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, "We will look into it".
Appearing for one of the Delhi-based petitioners Sameena Begum, advocates Shekhar and Ashwini Upadhyay alleged that their client was being threatened to withdraw her petition.
The bench, also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, also allowed Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, to file a response to the petition on the issue.
Nikah-halala is a practice which forces Muslim women to go through the process of marrying someone else, consummating (complete a marriage by having sexual intercourse) it, before remarrying their divorced husband. The women also have to observe separation period called ‘Iddat’ before coming back to their previous husband.
The petition, filed by the Delhi-based woman, has said that by virtue of the Muslim Personal Law and Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) was rendered inapplicable to Muslims and no married woman from the community has the avenue of filing a complaint against her husband for the offence of bigamy.
(With PTI Inputs)