Chanakya IAS Academy Blog


SC not to examine validity of polygamy

SC not to examine validity of polygamy

The Supreme court stated that it will study if triple talaq is fundamental part of Islam. The court said that it intended to restrict itself to considering the constitutional validity of triple talaq and not to extend it to polygamy.

The court is hearing a batch of petitions that challenge existing practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy under the Muslim personal law.

Suo Motu PIL petition from the supreme court itself:

  • The Supreme court had earlier received petitions from Muslim women and organizations that challenged the constitutional validity of triple talaq
  • On the question whether personal law practices violate the dignity of muslim women and is against gender equality, the court has itself taken cognizance and introduced a PIL petition suo motu (A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself rather than by an aggrieved party or a third party)
  • The bench stated that it would examine if triple talaq is a fundamental or essential part of religion

Vacuum may arise if triple talaq is declared invalid:

  • The court asked if all forms of triple talaq are declared unconstitutional where will Muslim men will go for divorce
  • Currently Muslim men do not have to move courts to get divorce, whereas Muslim women should approach a court under section 2 of the dissolution of Muslim marriage act 1939. The act provides for specific grounds under which a woman can seek divorce

Governments stand on the issue:

  • The Union government has submitted before the court that it is against all forms of triple talaq
  • Additional Solicitor-General appearing for the centre did not agree with the observations of the court that it would restrict itself to considering the constitutional validity of triple talaq and will not extend it to polygamy
  • He even reiterated that merely by virtue of their religious identity and the religion they profess, muslim women cannot be relegated to a status that is more vulnerable than women of other religious faiths
  • The government even sought from the court, whether in a secular democracy, women can be denied equal status and dignity based on religion
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