A group of women has challenged the Supreme Court over the practice of allowing more than one marriage practice in the Muslim community under Sharia law and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The petition has been filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain. They say that the United Nations Convention is also against more than one marriage.
He says, “It is ironic that more than one marriage is punishable under Section 494 of the IPC based on the suitability of the individual law.”
The petition states that this practice is prohibited under Hindu, Christian and Zoroastrian law while it is allowed under section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Sharia) Application Act, 1937.
It also states that “It is discriminatory as per Article 14 of the Constitution and it is against public policy, decency and morality
This petition has been filed by Kashika Sharma of Himachal Pradesh, Usha Sinha of Bihar, Kiran Singh of Uttar Pradesh, Suvid Praveen Kanchan and Parul Kheda and Lucknow-based Jan Udghosh Sangathan.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain has filed an application in the Supreme Court on behalf of the petitioner. He said that the Muslim Personal Law (Sharia) Application Act 1937 and Section 494 of the IPC allow Muslim men to marry more than one, which is unconstitutional. These provisions should be declared completely non-constitutional.
The plea was contended that Hindu, Parsi and Christian men cannot marry a second wife while leaving a community. If they do so, they are held guilty under Section 494 of the IPC. It was said that such legislation in the name of religion discriminates in the provisions of IPC.
At the same time, such a provision is a direct violation of the Article 14 of the Constitution, the right to equality and the provision of Article 15. Explain that according to Articles 14-15 of the Constitution, it has been said not to discriminate on the basis of religion and caste etc. and to give the right to equality.
Explain that under Section 494 of the IPC, there is a provision that if a person marries another while being a wife, it is considered invalid and the person can be punished with one year sentence. However, this is not the law for Muslim men.