Muslim Man Can Marry More Than Once Without Divorcing Earlier Wife But Same Doesn't Apply To A Muslim Woman: P&H High Court
The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently observed that "a Muslim man may get married more than once without divorcing his earlier wife but the same does not apply to a Muslim lady" while hearing a security plea filed by a Muslim couple. Bench of Justice Alka Sarin noted that before marrying Petitioner No. 2, the Muslim lady (who was admittedly married earlier) had not received a legally valid divorce from her first husband.
In other words, petitioner No. 1 (Muslim woman) and 2 (Muslim man) were married in the instant case without petitioner No. 1 (Muslim woman) receiving from her first husband a legally permissible divorce. The couple submitted to the Court that they have been in love with each other for several years and performed Nikah on 19 January 2021, as per Nikahnama, but the relatives of the woman are against the relationship.
On a question put to the petitioners' counsel regarding the petitioners' marital status, it was claimed that the petitioners, being Muslim, may both contract a second marriage. Before entering into a second marriage, a Muslim lady must divorce her first spouse, either under the Muslim Personal Law or under the provisions of the Muslim Marriages Act, 1939. "There is also no averment that her first marriage stands dissolved and thus her first marriage subsists in the eyes of law."There is also no averment that her first marriage is dissolved and therefore in the eyes of law her first marriage remains. However, the petitioners, as individuals, were given the liberty to approach the concerned Senior Superintendent of Police for redressal of their apprehensions regarding threats to their life and liberty.