The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Monday filed an application in the Supreme Court in which they stated that persons from other faiths or who are not from the Islamic faith should not be allowed to question the Muslim personal law. The application was made opposing the writ petition filed challenging the validity of Nikah Halala and Polygamy among Muslims. AIMPLB in their application also stated that the Supreme Court have already heard similar petition in 1997 and had decided not to pass any directives.
The PIL challenging the said Practices
The Application from AIMPLB came after advocate and BJP member Ashwini Upadhyay filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Constitutional validity of the Muslim practice of Nikah Halala and Polygamy. In his PIL Mr. Upadhyay states that the said practices violates the Muslim women’s right to live with dignity and their privacy, and hence asked the Apex Court to declare such practices as unconstitutional and illegal.
Polygamy allows Muslim man to have more than one wife and Nikah Halala is the procedure which a Muslim woman needs to follow if she wants to remarry her divorced husband, who divorced her by Triple Talaq. The procedure to be followed is that she first needs to marry another man and get divorce from him and only then she can remarry her ex-husband. Mr. Upadhyay challenged the said practices in the Supreme Court filing a writ under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking a writ, order or direction from the Court in the form of Mandamus to declare the said practices unconstitutional, illegal and violative of Article 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.
- The Supreme Court already heard a similar petition in 1997 and after examining all the evidence and arguments decided not to pass any directives at that time.
- The application seeks impleadment in the writ petition filed by Mr. Upadhyay which challenges the Constitutional validity of Nikah Halala and Polygamy.
- The application also pleads that a religious practice of one faith should not be questioned by a person who is not part of that religious domination.
- The application also states that Article 44 of the Constitution, i.e. Uniform Civil Code, is only a directive principle of State policy and hence not enforceable.
- AIMPLB also argued that Mohammedan law derives its validity from the Holy Quran and Hadith and hence its validity can’t be tested based on Part III of the Constitution of India.
The Application by AIMPLB
The application filed by AIMPLB submits that practices of one religious faith should not be questioned by persons who belong to some other faith. They further submit that nobody should question issues of faith unless such practice threatens life and liberty of anyone. Further, they went on to state that the ‘Uniform Civil Code’ as given in Article 44 of the Constitution of India is only a Directive Principle of State Policy and hence not enforceable. Further, AIMPLB argued that the Supreme Court in the case of Ahmadabad Women Action Group v. Union of India and in 1997 had already examined all the issues mentioned in the current petition and decided not to pass any directive back then.
AIMPLB further stated that personal laws do not derive its validity from any legislation that is being passed by the legislature or any other competent authority; they derive validity only through their respective scriptural texts. The Mohammedan law derives its validity from the Holy Quran and Hadith and hence its validity can’t be tested based on the fundamental rights. AIMPLB also stated that organizations like AIMPLB and other exist to protect the rights of Muslim women.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. The News Minute, https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/don-t-allow-person-one-religion-question-another-muslim-law-board-sc-nikah-halala-116916 (last visited 28th January 2020, 11:02 AM)
2. India Today, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/muslim-personal-law-board-supreme-court-pil-ban-polygamy-nikah-halala-1640481-2020-01-27 (last visited 28th January 2020, 11:02 AM)