The Modi Government formulated a bill called The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 and introduced it in the Parliament which was passed on 28 December 2017 by the Lok Sabha. The bill make instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddah) in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp illegal and void, with up to three years in jail for the husband.
After this criminalise instant triple talaq, petitions is filed in the Supreme Court to declare “nikah halala” and polygamy “unconstitutional”
Women’s activists who have called it retrograde and anti-women and have petitioned the SC to get it banned.
Nikah halala is a controversial practice which forbids a divorced couple from remarrying until the woman marries someone else, consummates her new marriage and gets divorced or widowed.
Polygamy is the practice of marrying multiple spouses.
Sources said the Centre would extend its support to petitioners when the matter comes up next in the SC, which earlier this year agreed too
After talaq-e-biddah, Nikah Halala and Polygamy at hearing
Having agreed to hear the petitions on the matter, the SC earlier issued notice to the Centre and the law ministry. The SC also directed the Centre to respond to the plea seeking to declare the provisions of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) which validate the practice of polygamy and nikah halala as unconstitutional.
The Centre’s plan comes even as Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), a voluntary organisation which successfully petitioned the SC against instant talaq, has decided to join the petitioners who are seeking an end to nikah halala and polygamy.
Zakia Soman of BMMA says “We are seeking a comprehensive law regulating all aspects of marriage and family by a Quranic-based law that complies with the Constitution too. We want halala to be a criminal offence and polygamy to be illegal. We believe the Quran doesn’t permit polygamy in today’s context. We are seeking legal protection like that for Hindu and Christian women.”