Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Polygamy, Nikah Halala after Winter Break
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Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Polygamy, Nikah Halala after Winter Break

Bar & Bench

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the plea challenging the practices of Nikah Halala and polygamy after the winter break, after a mention was made this morning by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upapadhyay. 

Seven months after its decision in the Shayara Bano case, a three judge Bench of then Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued notice in a batch of petitions challenging the Islamic practices of Polygamy, Nikah Halala, Nikah Mutah and Nikah Misyar.

Further, the matter was also referred for decision by a Constitution Bench of the Court, after notice was issued to the Central government and the National Commission for Women.

The four petitioners are Sameena Begum, Nafisa Khan Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and Moullim Mohsin Bin Hussain Bin Abdad Al Kathiri.

Nikah Halala is the practice by which once a Muslim woman has been divorced, her husband is not permitted to take her back even if he pronounced Talaq under influence of an intoxicant, unless his wife marries another man, who subsequently divorces her so that her previous husband can re-marry her.

Nikah Mutah literally means “pleasure marriage”, and is a verbal and temporary marriage contract that is practiced in Muslim Community, in which duration of marriage and the mahr (payment made at time of marriage) is specified and agreed upon in advance. It is a private contract made in a verbal format.

Nikah Misyar, which translates to “traveller’s marriage”, is a form of marital union wherein the husband and wife renounce several marital rights such as living together, the wife’s rights to housing and maintenance money, and the husband’s right to access.

It is pertinent to state that a written declaration of intent to marry and acceptance of the terms are required in other forms of marriages in Islam. Generally, Nikah Mutah and Nikah Misyar have no prescribed minimum or maximum duration.

To read the petitions and the order issuing notice in March last year, read the story here.

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