New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday decided to set up a new 5-judge Constitution Bench to hear pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and Nikah halala among the muslims on a PIL by Delhi BJP leader Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
The decision was taken by a 2-judge bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha on Upadhyay's plea for a fresh 5-judge Bench as two judges of the previous constitution bench -- Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta retired on September 23 and October 16.
There are very important matters which are pending before a five-judge bench. We will constitute one and bear this matter in mind, the CJI said, noting that the Bench was to hear eight petitions against the practice of polygamy and nikah halala. The matter was earlier mentioned by Upadhyay on November 2.
Five-judge panel looked into PILs and sought their responses last year
On August 30, last year, a five-judge bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee, Hemant Gupta, Surya Kant, M M Sundresh and Sudhanshu Dhulia had made the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) parties to the PILs and sought their responses.
While polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives, 'nikah halala' deals with the process in which a Muslim woman, who wants to re-marry her husband after divorce, has to first marry another person and get a divorce from him after the consummation. The apex court had in July 2018 considered the plea and referred the matter to a Constitution bench already tasked with hearing a batch of similar petitions.
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