New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear petitions challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and nikah halala practice among Muslims. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha took the decision on a PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay. In fact, on August 30 last year, five judges heard the case, but in the meantime, Justice Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta retired. Now once again the hearing will be held after constituting a constitution bench of five judges.
Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who had filed the PIL on the issue, had requested a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachuds, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice JB Pardiwala that the Constitution bench needs to be reconstituted in the matter as two judges of the previous Constitution bench — Indira Banerjee and Justice Hemant Gupta — have retired. “There are very important matters which are pending before a five-judge bench. We will also constitute a 5-member bench in this matter and take into account the matter. Upadhyay had also mentioned the matter on November 2 last year.
Earlier on August 30, 2022, a five-judge Constitution bench had made the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women and The National Commission for Minorities parties to the PIL and sought their response. The bench comprised Justices Indira Banerjee, Hemant Gupta, Surya Kant, MM Sundaresh and Sudhanshu Dhulia. However, Justices Banerjee and Gupta retired on September 23 and October 16 this year respectively, necessitating a reconstitution of the Constitution bench to hear eight petitions against the practices of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’. Now once again the hearing will be held after the formation of the bench.
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