Fri, 20 Jan 2023 01:11 PM IST
THE SUPREME Court announced on Friday that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear pleas challenging the constitutionality of polygamy and 'nikah halala' practice among Muslims.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha took note of the submissions of lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who has filed one of the PILs on the matter, that a new five-judge bench needed to be formed as Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Hemant Gupta, two judges on the previous constitution bench, have retired.
"There are very important matters which are pending before a five-judge bench. We will constitute one and bear this matter in mind,” the CJI said, PTI reported.
This issue had been brought up by Upadhyay last year on November 2. On August 30, 2022, a five-judge bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee, Hemant Gupta, Surya Kant, M M Sundresh and Sudhanshu Dhulia made the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) parties to the PILs and sought their responses.
Later, Justice Banerjee and Justice Gupta retired on September 23 and October 16, respectively, necessitating a new bench's construction in order to hear as many as eight petitions against polygamy and "nikah halala."
Upadhyay, in his PIL, has sought a direction to declare polygamy and 'nikah halala' unconstitutional and illegal.
While polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives, 'nikah halala' deals with the process in which a Muslim woman, who wants to re-marry her husband after divorce, has to first marry another person and get a divorce from him after the consummation.
The apex court had in July 2018 considered the plea and referred the matter to a Constitution bench already tasked with hearing a batch of similar petitions.
(With Agency Inputs)