Muslim man can remarry without divorce but a woman needs to divorce for second marriage: Punjab & Haryana HC

New Delhi: The Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that a “Muslim man can marry another woman without taking a divorce from the first wife, but a Muslim woman has to take a divorce for her second marriage”. The decision was given by a single bench of Justice Alka Sarin.

The Muslim woman will have to get a divorce from her first husband under the Muslim Marriage Act 1939.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by a Muslim couple, in which the couple had sought protection in Harayana.

In the petition filed by the couple, they stated that they both were first married to different individuals and that the woman had married her first husband against her will. The couple were in a relationship for past few years, and got married on January 19, 2021.

The high court was told that her family opposed her second marriage. In this case, the woman filed a petition against her first marriage and seeking protection of life and liberty.

On this, Justice Alka Sarin ordered, “A Muslim man can remarry without divorcing his first wife, but the same rule does not apply to Muslim women. A Muslim woman has to get a divorce from her first husband. The woman can get a divorce under the Muslim Personal Law or the Muslim Marriage Act 1939 before remarrying”

The news comes almost two years after the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 was introduced. It prohibits divorce by pronouncing ‘talaq’ thrice in one occasion by Muslim women’s husbands. It makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offence and may attract up to three years of imprisonment and a fine. Under the act, an accused can be arrested without a warrant.

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