Gujarat HC tells Muslims not to misuse Quran’s teachings

Judge recommends uniform civil code

GN Bureau | November 6, 2015



Asking Muslims not to misuse certain religious and temporal practices, the Gujarat high court on Thursday said the Quran was being misinterpreted by Muslim men to have more than one wife.  The high court said that time has come for the country to embrace the uniform civil code.

While delivering a judgement, the court said the provision of polygamy was being misused by the Muslim men for “selfish reasons”.

Justice JB Pardiwala made these observations while pronouncing the order related to section 494 of IPC, which deals with punishment for having more than one wife.

In the order, Pardiwala noted “the Quran is being misinterpreted by Muslim men to have more than one wife.”

“When the Quran allowed polygamy, it was for a fair reason. When men use that provision today, they do it for a selfish reason. Polygamy finds mention in the Quran only once, and it is about conditional polygamy,” the order said.

“Muslim Personal Law does not permit a Muslim to treat one wife cruelly, drive her out of the matrimonial home and then get married for the second time. However, there is no law in this country which takes care of this situation. There is no uniform civil code in this country,” it said.

The petitioner, Jafar Abbas Merchant, had approached the high court to quash an FIR against him filed by his wife who alleged that he got married to another woman without her consent. In the FIR, she invoked section 494 of IPC (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) against Jafar.

In his plea, Jafar, however, claimed that the Muslim Personal Law allows Muslim men to marry four times and hence the FIR against him does not stand legal scrutiny.

“On the basis of modern, progressive thinking, India must shun the practice and establish uniform civil code,” stated the judgment.

The court further observed that the permission to have four wives under Muslim Personal Law violates Constitutional provisions.

“Polygamy and the unilateral talaq without the wife’s consent offends Article 14 (equality before law for all) and Article 15 (the state’s non-­discrimination on grounds of caste, religion, sex, etc). If the state tolerates this law, it becomes an accomplice in the discrimination of the female, which is illegal under its own laws,” the court in its order.

While mentioning several verses of the Quran as well as statements of noted scholars, the HC said “it is abundantly clear that notwithstanding there is no codification by the legislation of marriages amongst the Muslims, polygamy is not encouraged and is an exception and not a rule. It is not the fundamental right of a Muslim to have four wives.”

The court also gave a verdict in favour of Jafar and removed section 494 from the FIR, as being a Muslim, he is governed by the Muslim Personal Law, which allows him to have more than one wife, and not under the IPC.

“In view of the above, so far as the offfence punishable under Section 494 of IPC is concerned, I am left with no other option but to accept the submission that Jafar cannot be prosecuted for the offence punishable under Section 494 of IPC. To this extent, the petition will have to be allowed and is, accordingly, allowed,” stated the order.

During the arguments, advocate MTM Hakim, who was appointed as amicus curiae in the case, had pointed out that under Muslim laws, the second marriage cannot be held void.

The court, however, observed, “…notwithstanding there is no codification by the legislation of marriages amongst the Muslim, polygamy is not encouraged and is an exception and not a rule.”

Justice Pardiwala further said the offence under Section 498A of the IPC is a continuing offence, “and if the act of cruelty continues, even while the woman is living at her parents’ house, the offence is triable by both the Courts in whose territorial jurisdiction the acts of cruelty have been committed.”

The court said: “Sajeda was subjected to cruelty at her matrimonial house … (and) forced to live with her parents and brother at Bhavnagar. Sajeda had been left with no other option… and in any case, if she was asked to prosecute her case under Section 498A of the IPC at her matrimonial home, it would amount to deprivation of her right to prosecute the case, since, as a deserted lady, she would not be able to prosecute her case properly there.”

Comments

 

Other News

CEA’s campaign against ‘poor standards’ finds some success

Chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s campaign for some sense in country ratings has finally found some success. Global rating agency Moody`s Investors Service has downgraded China`s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to stable fr

Doubling farmers’ income challenging, yet attainable: Niti Aayog

The low level of farmers` income and year to year fluctuations in it are a major source of agrarian distress. This distress is spreading and getting severe over time impacting almost half of the population of the country that is dependent on farming for livelihood, said a Niti Aayog policy paper.

Governance, development no longer govt’s agenda: Civil society

The civil society has strongly criticized the Narendra Modi government that completes three years in office. Citizens’ Report: Promises and Reality tha

Parody of the health mission

Improving the availability of health workers, particularly at the sub-centre level, has been one of the thrust areas of the national rural health mission (NRHM).  Back in 2005, most of the sub-centres in the country were run by a single auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM). ANMs were overbu

Should there be moderation of marks in Class XII board exams?

Should there be moderation of marks in Class XII board exams?

PSUs must be more disciplined: Anil Swarup

 Public sector undertakings (PSUs) can become more efficient only through discipline, said Anil Swarup, secretary, department of school education and literacy, ministry of human resource development. Speaking at the 2nd India PSU IT Forum organised by Governance Now on Wednesdaty, Swarup laid



Video

प्रभुनाथ सिंह को हत्याकांड में उम्रकैद की सजा

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter