//SC dismisses petition on abolishing 'archaic' Muslim laws

SC dismisses petition on abolishing 'archaic' Muslim laws

Thursday May 11 2006 00:00 IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a writ petition praying for striking down "archaic" Muslim personal laws, especially those relating to marriage and divorce and substitute the same by existing secular laws.

A Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Markandey Katju told the petitioner to approach the Parliament for redressal of this grievance. On issued like Muslim men marrying more than once, the Bench said that it is for the Parliament to decide and judiciary cannot change the law. There must be judicial restraint, the bench added.

The petitioner filed Lily Thomas averred that she was concerned about the illegality of the customs of polygamy, the practice of having more than a wife at the same time and talaq, divorce practised by Muslim community. Both are irrational, anachronistic and offend and deny fundamental rights of Muslim women. These laws ought to have been wiped out long ago as indecent practices and illegal and unconstitutional, the petitioner added.