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P&H High Court Grants Protection To Muslim Man In Second Marriage, Directs To Pay 1 Lakh To First Wife

Sparsh Upadhyay
16 Sep 2021 4:06 AM GMT
P&H High Court Grants Protection To Muslim Man In Second Marriage, Directs To Pay 1 Lakh To First Wife
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Dealing with a protection plea filed by a Muslim man seeking protection in his second marriage, the Punjab and Haryana High Court (Single Judge) imposed Rs. 1 lakh fine on the man to be paid to his wife noting that he had failed to maintain his first wife and minor Daughters.The single judge dismissed the plea even without adjudicating on the issue of protection to life, however, in an appeal...

Dealing with a protection plea filed by a Muslim man seeking protection in his second marriage, the Punjab and Haryana High Court (Single Judge) imposed Rs. 1 lakh fine on the man to be paid to his wife noting that he had failed to maintain his first wife and minor Daughters.

The single judge dismissed the plea even without adjudicating on the issue of protection to life, however, in an appeal to this order, the Division bench of the High Court did grant him protection by issuing a direction to Malerkotla senior superintendent to take into consideration their representation for protection.

Single Judge Order

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan noted that the man (seeking protection in his second marriage) had already married one Alia Hasan and had two minor daughters and had failed to maintain them.

It was submitted before the Court that his first marriage was annulled by way of divorce documents vide 03 divorce deeds executed by the man, however, the Court noted that the divorce deeds were one-sided documents prepared by the Man himself and it didn't contain the signature of the first wife, giving her consent to such divorce.

"This Court cannot ignore the fact that the Court being the legal guardian of the 02 minor girls, who are living at the mercy of their mother – Alia Hasan, as the petitioner No.2 is not only claiming to have divorced his first wife Alia Hasan but he has also refused to maintain and take care of the upbringing of his 02 minor daughters aged 4½ years and 02 years," the Court further observed.

In view of this, the Court opined that the protection plea was nothing but a ploy to seek a seal of this Court regarding the lustful and adulterous life of Muslim Man with petitioner No.1 (second wife) and the Court cannot be a party to the same.

Importantly, the Court remarked that the arguments that he (Muslim man) has a right to perform second marriage under Muslim Law is misconceived as this Court instead of taking an academic view is more concerned about the welfare of 02 minor girls as it is clear that petitioner No.2 has intentionally failed to maintain his first wife and 02 minor daughters.

Therefore, the Court dismissed the plea with Rs.1,00,000/- costs to be paid to Alia Hasan (first wife).

Division Bench order

This order of the single judge was appealed before a division bench comprising Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma, with the only prayer that their life and liberty may be protected and the appeal may be allowed to a limited extent.

At the outset, the Court noted that it was limiting itself to the abovesaid prayer and made it clear that it was not opining anything on the validity or otherwise either on the alleged divorce given by Muslim man to his first wife or the alleged marriage between the appellants.

Against this backdrop, the Court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Maler Kotla, to take into consideration their representation provide them protection if some substance is found therein and to ensure that life and liberty is not jeopardized of the appellants at the hands of the private respondents.

However, the Court further observed that its direction shall not be construed in any manner to restrain the official respondents to proceed against the appellants in case there is some criminal case registered against them.

Case title - Ishrat Bano and another v. State of Punjab and others

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