A senior official of the Law Ministry said on Friday, 29 June 2018, that the government will oppose the practice of ‘Nikah Halala‘ in the Supreme Court, when the apex court will examine its legal validity in the days to come. The ‘nikah halala’ is a practice in the Muslim community that allows any person in the community to marry again to their divorced wife.
A PIL is filed by Ashwini Upadhayay, BJP leader, challenging the validity of the Nikah Halala and Polygamy.
The official of the ministry said that the government believes that this practice is against the principles of ‘gender justice‘ and had made its stand clear in the Supreme Court on this issue.
- The practice is against the principles of gender equality.
- The Lok sabha has passed Teen Talaq draft, pending in Rajya sabha.
- Supreme court declared Teen Talaq, last year, as unconstitutional.
- A PIL is filed challenging the validty of the Nikah Halala and Polygamy.
However, the Supreme Court had then decided to only hear the matter of the immediate ‘Teen Talaq‘ issue, and decided to take a different view on ‘Nikah Halala’ and polygamy. In March, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Center on the ‘Nikah Halala’ and polygamy.
The official said that the government’s attitude is the same, the Indian government is against this practice. This will be displayed in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had declared the practice of ‘Teen Talaq’ last year unconstitutional. The government has brought a bill later to make ‘Teen Talaq’ a punishable offense.
The Lok Sabha passed this bill and now it is pending in the Rajya Sabha. It makes ‘Teen Talaq’ invalid and provides the punishment of sentence upto three years for the husband.
Under the draft law, ‘Teen Talaq’ will be illegal and invalid in any form (in electronic form including oral, written or email, SMS and Whatsapp). Now the Supreme Court will investigate the legal validity of ‘Nikah Halala’. A Constitution Bench of the Court will hear four petitions challenging the validity of this practice.
A person can not remarry with his ex-wife under ‘Nikah Halala’, unless the woman marries another man, had physical relation with him and then get divorced and did complete the separation period (Iddat).
The PIL objecting the legal validity of two other such temporal marriages — Nikaah Mutah and Nikaah Misyar — undertaken among Muslims as ‘patriarchal’ and ‘regressive’. Both are short-lived, contract marriages heavily tipped against the women and have been blamed for worsening the quandary of Muslim women in India. Such marriages make it easygoing for men to leave women when they want and also to hold any of children with them.