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Delhi HC notice to Centre on plea for law on compulsory registration of Muslim marriages

ANI | Updated: May 02, 2022 16:38 IST


New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre on a plea moved by a Muslim woman, who along with her 11-month-old child, has been deserted by her Muslim husband seeking direction to frame law for compulsory registration of Muslim marriages.
The petitioner also sought direction to hold and declare that a Muslim husband is legally bound to obtain the prior written consent of his wife (wives) to contract bigamy or polygamy under Shariat Laws.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Minority Affairs, and her husband and listed the matter 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.

Advocate Bajrang Vats Earlier submitted that countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh where the pre-independence Muslim Person Law (Shariat) Application Act is applicable, have regulated bigamy or polygamy by Muslim husbands.
The plea states that the petitioner, an aggrieved Muslim wife, has filed this petition as Public Interest Litigation as the reliefs sought are of public importance. It is submitted that the petitioner is a victim of unclear, uncodified Shariat laws and she is seeking the intervention of this Court for redressal of her grievances.
The plea further submitted that 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. (ANI)

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