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A plea has been filed today in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 promulgated on September 19, 2018.

The plea which has been filed by Samastha Kerala Jamiathul Ulema, a religious organisation of the Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics in Kerala urges the apex court to strike down the Ordinance as it violates Articles 14, 15, 21 and 123 of the Constitution of India.

According to the plea, the Ordinance has introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of persons based on religious identity.  It is causative of grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarization and disharmony in society.

The plea said that Article 123 of the Constitution enables the promulgation of ordinances only in instances requiring “immediate action”. The absence of emergent reasons negates any invocation of the provision. And thus the government has violated the Article by bringing out this Ordinance.

“That it is strange if not absurd that within months of the judgment in Shahyara Bano (supra), in hot haste, there is an ordinance banning Triple Talaq under the emergent provision of Article 123. A practice that was around for only about 1400 years and now, in any case derecognized by virtue of Shahyara Bano (supra), did not require the Government’s emergent intervention under Article 123,” the plea said.

                                                                                                            —India Legal Burea

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