Odisha News Insight

Gujarat HC: Quran can’t be misinterpreted to practice Polygamy

Muslim-womanAhmedabad, Nov 5: Alarming over the misuse of the Quarn in the cases of polyamy, Gujarat High Court said the Quran was being misinterpreted by Muslim men to have more than one wife and the provision of polygamy was being misused by them for “selfish reasons”.

The Quran is being misinterpreted by Muslim men to have more than one wife, ” Justice JB Pardiwala said. “On the basis of modern progressive thinking, India must shun the practice (of polygamy) and establish a uniform civil code. If the state tolerates Shari’ah law, it becomes an accomplice in the discrimination of the female, which is illegal under its own laws,” he said further.

The Gujarat High Court ruled that Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code against re-marriage during the lifetime of husband or wife could not be enforced on Muslim men marrying under the Shari’ah.

The high court order came on a petition filed by one Sajida Bano of Saurashtra region’s Bhavnagar city in the state against her husband Zafar Abbas invoking Section 494 of the IPC.

Zafar Abbas, who hails from Chhattisgarh, had in 1991 re-married without divorcing his first wife Sajida. She had moved a local court in Bhavnagar against her husband’s second marriage and got an order in her favour. Abbas challenged the lower court’s decision in the high court.

Since the matter involving Islamic personal law was sensitive, the high court appointed an amicus curie for assistance. The amicus curie consulted Islamic as well as legal experts and recorded various judgments on the issue by different high courts in the country and the Supreme Court before submitting its findings to the Gujarat High Court.

The amicus curie also took into account a February 25 verdict by a division bench of the Kerala High Court that held that Section 494 of the IPC was applicable to all offenders, irrespective of their religion but was subject to personal laws.

The Kerala apex court had observed that the offence did not discriminate between an offender, either male or female, belonging to the Hindus, Muslims or Christian communities while lodging a case of bigamy if a marriage was legal and valid. (IANS)

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