New Delhi: Round one apparently went to the minority community as the Supreme Court on Monday declined to give an urgent hearing of a plea filed by one Sameena Begum, challenging the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and nikah halala.
Headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, the bench ruled that the matter would come up for hearing in due course of time after the Centre files its response. Then, ''we would hear the matter.''
The Union of India also sought more time to file its response on the pleas which the bench allowed.
Earlier, while issuing notice to the Central government, the apex court noted the grounds stating that though these practices come within the domain of Muslim personal law, they were not immune from judicial review under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court will hear pleas filed by Sameena Begum, Nafisa Khan, Moullium Mohsin and BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay challenging the practice and constitutional validity of polygamy, nikah halala, nikah mutah (temporary marriage in the Shias) and nikah misyar (short-term marriage among Sunnis). The petitions were filed on the grounds of these practices being violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.
Submitting that though different religious communities were governed by different personal laws, Upadhyay contended that "personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality in as much as they cannot be violative of Articles 14, 15,21 of the Constitution.''(UNI)