On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the dominant practices of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims and asked for responses from the Centre and the Law Commission.
A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reflected the submission that the past five-judge constitution bench had kept open the issue of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ whereas defeating triple talaq in its 2017 verdict. The bench said today a new five-judge constitution bench would be set up to deal with the constitutionality of ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy, which also includes Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. The polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives whereas ‘nikah halala’ deals with the course in which a Muslim woman has to marry another person (mostly for a night) and get divorced from him before being allowed to marry her divorcee husband again.
A five-judge constitution bench had earlier held triple talaq as unconstitutional in its judgment delivered last year with a majority of 3:2. The bench, on the other hand, was hearing at least three petitions including some PILs confronting the practices on various grounds counting that they violate Right to Equality and gender practice.