To link to this article, copy this persistent link:

(Nov 24, 2008) A bench of the Kerala High Court, which is in the southernmost portion of India, consisting of Justices Kurian Joseph and Harun-Ul-Rashid, asked the Government of India to set up regulatory bodies in states and at the national level to regulate what the Justices described as "indiscreet marriages and divorces," for the protection of Muslim society. The court observed that in the early years of Islam, when polygamous marriages were permitted, there were a lot of orphans, widows, and captives of war who were unable to maintain a dignified life. Polygamy was considered necessary to provide for the unattached women and children in difficult circumstances. In fact, the practice was discouraged from the start by imposing stringent conditions. However, the Justices noted, even after the fifteenth century, some Muslims still followed the practice, unmindful of whether such circumstances existed or not. Now, although polygamy is illegal for Hindus and other groups in India, some Muslims still enter into multiple marriages. Thus, the Kerala High Court stated, there is a need to eradicate the system of polygamy among Muslims.

Certain Muslim countries, even if allowing multiple marriages, do not permit indiscriminate polygamous marriages. In Pakistan, for example, the taking of a second wife requires the permission of an Arbitration Council, and the husband must give his reasons for having a second wife. (Court for Body to Regulate Muslim Marriages, THE HINDU, Oct. 23, 2008, available at

Author: Krishan Nehra More by this author
Topic: Families More on this topic
Jurisdiction: India More about this jurisdiction

Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.

Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.

Last updated: 11/24/2008