Kerala judge slams Muslim law, asks why women can’t have 4 husbands

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Kozhikode: Kerala High Court judge Justice B. Kemal Pasha on Sunday lashed out at the shortcomings of Muslim Personal Law saying it was highly discriminatory. The judge said while elaborating on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act that the Law let the men marry four times and easily divorce the wives through extra-judicial divorce and questioned why the the same law is not applicable to women.

Justice Pasha’s comments came a day after the Supreme Court accepted a writ petition filed by V. P. Zuhra, president of NISA, a progressive Muslim women’s forum, seeking its intervention into discriminating Muslim women according to Sharia law.

In the petition, Ms Zuhra had maintained that the Sharia law was against the Constitution and it was un-Islamic. Justice Pasha said it was not a codified law and it had many shortcomings including inequality in the areas of marriage, divorce and succession.

“The women are not even getting the privileges said in the Quran. They are subjected to change by the precedent. The inheritance law is another example. A man can not write a will of his own regarding his properties. He has the right to write only about one-third of his properties, that too with the consent of his relatives. Even if a man wants his entire assets to be handed over to his wife and children, that is not possible,” he said.

He stressed that it was time for a change and exhorted women’s organisations to come up against this discrimination. The judge attended the programme of Punarjani Charitable Trust in the morning and reiterated his words in a debate organised by NISA at Nalanda Auditorium in the afternoon.

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