Hindu men can't hide behind Islam for bigamy: SC

http://www.polygamyinfo.com/intnalmedia%20plyg%2070xpres.htm

The Supreme Court has reiterated that the second
marriage of a Hindu man after conversion to Islam
without having his first marriage dissolved under
the law would be invalid.

“The second marriage would be void in terms of
the provisions of Section 494 of the Indian Penal
Code (IPC) and the apostate husband would be
guilty of the offence of bigamy under section 494
IPC”, the court added.

The ruling was handed down by a division bench
comprising Mr. Justice S Saghir Ahmed and Mr.
Justice R P Sethi in separate but concurring
judgement while dismissing a review petition and
writ petition filed by various persons and
Jamait-i-Ulema-Hind.

It was contended in these petitions that the
judgement in Sarala Mudgal case was contrary to
the fundamental rights as enshrined in Articles 20,
21, 25 and 26 of the Constitution.

The court noted that the petitioners had not made
out any case within the meaning of Article 137 of
the constitution read with order XL of the
Supreme Court rules and order XLVII Rule 1 of
the criminal procedure court for reviewing the
judgement in Sarala Mudgal case. The petition is
misconceived and bereft of any substance.

The judges said that they were not impressed by
the arguments that the law declared in Sarala
Mudgal case could not be applied to persons who
had solemnized marriages in violation of the
mandate of law prior to the date of judgement.

“This court had not laid down any new law but
only interpreted the existing law which was in
force. It is settled principle that the interpretation
of provision of law relates back to the date of the
law itself and cannot be prospective from the date
of the judgement because concededly the court
does not legislate but only gives an interpretation
to an existing law”, the judges observed.

“The judgement had only interpreted the existing
law after taking into consideration various aspects
argued at length before the bench which
pronounced the judgement. The review petition
alleging violation of article 20 (1) is without any
substance and is liable to be dismissed on this
ground alone”, the judges held.

Even under the Muslim Law, the judges pointed
out, plurality of marriages is not unconditionally
conferred upon the husbands it would therefore be
doing injustice to Islamic law to urge that the
convert is entitled to practice bigamy
notwithstanding the continuance of his marriage
under the law to which he belonged before
conversion.

The court said the violators of law, who have
contracted the second marriage, cannot be
permitted to urge that such marriage should not
be made subject matter of prosecution under the
general penal law prevalent in the country.

“The court said Islam, which is a pious progressive
and respected religion with rational outlook,
cannot be given a narrow concept and as has been
tried to be done by the alleged violators of the
law”, the court noted. 






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