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The Kerala High Court today held that enforcement of Section 494 of IPC (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife
R. Jagannathan joins issue with Tahir Mahmood, member of the Law Commission, in the DNA:
The Law Commission's opinion on Islam and bigamy is well intentioned, but it's really a double-edged sword. For two reasons. First, it is not appropriate for a non-religious body to quote the scriptures to justify a stand it wants to take for reasons of gender equity and justice.
Second, once a religious justification is used to promote a cause -- monogamy in this case -- what is to stop narrow-minded loonies from quoting the same books for whatever mayhem they have in mind? If the courts and law agencies start using religious justifications for secular causes, how can they uphold the Constitution?
There is no need to go down that slippery slope.
Chand-Fiza did exactly what two specific Supreme Court rulings forbid -- bigamy by non-Muslims under the cover of embracing Islam. The Law Commission has merely recommend that the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and other statutory marriage laws of India should incorporate the SC-held position of the law. Tahir Mahmood, member of the Law Commission writes in the TOI:
Conscious of the religious sensitivities of Muslim society in respect of personal law, the commission did not touch upon misuse of the Islamic law on bigamy by born Muslims themselves, which is not unknown. Ignorant of the limited scope of its report, the Law Commission is being uncharitably criticised in Muslim religious circles. Members of these circles naively believe that their personal law, despite being distorted and misused in practice, is outside the powers and functions of all constitutional organs and advisory bodies of the state.
Seeing it as an inseparable part of Islam, they want all such organs and bodies to perpetually keep away from it. They are yet to appreciate the true position of Muslim personal law under the Constitution of India and its real place in the legal and judicial systems of the country. It will be in their own interest to acquaint themselves with the proper legal position in this regard. Till this day all constitutional and statutory bodies in India have spoken of Islamic law with respect and done their best to accommodate the religious sensitivities of the community. Persistently alienating these bodies through irresponsible criticism is an act of short-sightedness.
Read the full article in the TOI
And we get so worked up about Karunanidhi's three wives or Dharmender's two. Jonah Weiner in Slate introduces us to Prince Zimboo:
He has 999 wives. He hails from an unnamed region of central Africa ("a thin layer of impenetrable rainforest," he tells interviewers) known only as d'bush. His name is Prince Zimboo Abakunamabooba, and if he sounds fishy to you, he should. Outlandish back stories are common in hip-hop—a genre perched on the fault line between tell-it-like-it-is verité and winking artifice—but Zimboo's mythology is patently unbelievable, 100 percent wink. Is he a loon? A comedian? A walking 419 scam, claiming African royalty as part of some elaborate performance-art hoax?