Polygamy: Delhi HC notice to Centre on plea seeking Muslim men to take consent from first wife on marriage
New Delhi, May 2: The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Centre on a plea filed by a Muslim woman who sought a declaration that Muslim husbands cannot get married again without the written permission from their first wife.
The public interest litigation filed by a 28-year-old woman, who has been deserted by her husband along with her 11-month baby, seeks to restrict Muslim men from practising Bigamy or Polygamy under Shariat Laws.
She has sought direction to frame the law for compulsory registration of Muslim marriages. The Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Minority Affairs, and her husband have been issued notice by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice. The matter has been posted for August 23, 2022, for detailed hearing
The petitioner through Advocate Bajrang Vats also sought to declare that bigamy or polygamy contracted by a Muslim husband without obtaining the prior written consent of his wife or wives and without making prior proper arrangements of accommodation, maintenance for them is unconstitutional, anti-Shariat, illegal, arbitrary, harsh, inhuman, barbaric and discriminatory, ANI reported.
As per the petition, the Holy Quran provides for bigamy or polygamy only in extreme and exceptional circumnutates but it is very pathetic that the Muslim husbands are taking it for granted and it has been propagated in the society that absolute discretion lies with the Muslim husband to contract bigamy or polygamy at any time without any reason and without advance notice to wife and without obtaining her without prior written consent and without making prior proper arrangements of accommodation, maintenance for wife.
"It is a settled legal position that discretion vested in a person or authority is always conditional and it cannot be absolute. It is submitted that a Muslim wife is not a machine but she is a human being vested with all universal human rights which also includes rights in her matrimonial life," the plea said.
It is submitted that a Muslim wife is also entitled to constitutional protection and she cannot be deprived of her Right to Life in the name of applicability of personal laws. It is submitted that the practice of bigamy or polygamy contracted by Muslim husband is contrary to Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the constitution of India, the plea added.
Petitioner's advocate Bajrang Vats claimed that the Muslim woman filed it as PIL as the relief is for public importance.