NEW DELHI: A woman from Uttar Pradesh has approached the Supreme Court with a plea to declare the setting up of Sharia courts to decide marriage, divorce and other cases as unconstitutional. Zikra, a 21-year-old mother of two, approached the SC to become a party in the case wherein polygamy and nikah halala among Muslims are under challenge.
“Declare that establishing a Sharia court to decide cases related to marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, succession and/or other similar matters is illegal and unconstitutional,” Zikra said in her plea, adding that nikah halala, nikah mutah, nikah misyar and polygamy ran counter to public order, morality and health. In her petition, Zikra narrated her experience of how she was divorced twice and forced to undergo niakh halala to remarry her husband.
She has demanded that triple talaq be declared cruelty under Section 498A and nikah halala, nikah mutah and nikah misyar rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. Polygamy is an offence under Section 494 of the IPC, her plea stated. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked the petitioner to file an application to intervene as a party in the case. The SC had banned triple talaq last year and in March this year, decided to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and nikah halala.
Under nikah halala, a divorced woman has to marry another man, consummates the marriage, get a divorce again and observes a period of separation period called iddat before remarrying her husband.