NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to set up a fresh five-judge bench to hear a batch of petitions questioning validity of polygamy and 'nikah halala' practised by a sections of Muslims.
Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who has filed the PIL in the matter, mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha.
"There very important matters which are pending before a five-judge bench. We will constitute one and bear this matter in mind,” the CJI said.
Out of the five judges, who heard the matter earlier, two judges Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta have retired.
The Supreme Court's Constitution bench had on August 30 issued notice to the Centre and others in the matter.
Separate petitions filed by a group of Muslim women and Upadhyay challenged the constitutional validity of the polygamy and nikah halala.
These cases were referred to the five-judge bench by a three-judge bench in March, 2018.
Apart from the Union government, the court had sought a response from the National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities, Law Commission etc in the matter.
Upadhyay’s plea said the injury caused to the women as practice of triple-talaq, polygamy and nikah-halala is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and injurious to public order, morality, and health.
The plea sought a direction to declare Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, insofar as it seeks to recognise polygamy and nikah-halala.
In August 2017, the top court held that Muslim practice of 'triple talaq' is unconstitutional and struck it down by 3:2 majority judgement.
In 2017 verdict, while quashing the practice of 'triple talaq', the court had kept open the issue of polygamy and 'nikah halala'.
The petitioners said once a Muslim woman is divorced, her husband is not permitted to take her back even if he had pronounced talaq under influence of any intoxicant, unless his wife undergoes nikah-halala, which involves her marriage with another man, who subsequently divorces her so that her previous husband can re-marry her.
Polygamy, on the other hand, allows a Muslim man to have four wives.