SC to hear plea against Sharia courts

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has considered a fresh plea of a Muslim woman seeking to declare as unconstitutional the setting up of Sharia courts to decide marriage, divorce and other cases.

The apex court, which had last year banned the age-old practice of instant ‘triple talaq’ among Sunni Muslims, had on March 26 decided to refer to a five-judge Constitution bench a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and ‘nikah halala.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked petitioner Zikra to file an application to intervene as a party in a batch of pleas challenging the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims. Zikra, a 21-year-old resident of Uttar Pradesh and a mother of two, was represented by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

She has demanded that triple talaq be declared “cruelty” under Section 498A and ‘nikah halala, nikah mutah and nikah mutah and nikah-misyar’ rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal code.

Muslim personal laws of India permit the practice of nikah halala and polygamy.In her petition, Zikra narrated her experience of facing “triple talaq, nikah halala and other laws and practices”.

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