SC to hear plea against Sharia courts

SC to hear plea against Sharia courts

Agency News

New Delhi, Sep 2: The Supreme Court has considered a fresh plea of a Muslim woman seeking to declare as unconstitutional the setting up of Sharia courts to decide marriage, divorce and other cases.

A bench comprising he Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Mr. Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked petitioner Zikra to file an application to intervene as a party in a batch of pleas challenging the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’. The court, which last year had banned the practice of instant ‘triple talaq’ among Sunnis, had on March 26 decided to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’.

Polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives and under ‘nikah halala’, a man cannot remarry his former wife unless she marries another man, consummates the marriage, gets a divorce and observes a period of separation period, the ‘iddat’. A 21-year-old UP resident and mother of two, the petitioner Zikra was represented by her lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

She has demanded that triple talaq be declared 'cruelty' under Section 498A and ‘nikah halala, nikah mutah and nikah-misyar’ rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. 'Polygamy is an offence under Section 494 of the IPC,' her plea said. The Muslim Personal Law, like all other personal laws, is subject to the rigours of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution and 'any part of it contravening the fundamental rights would, to that extent, is void and ineffective', she said. (UNI)