Emphasizing the mandate of the Holy Quran, Allahabad High Court noted that a Muslim man cannot perform a second marriage if he is not capable of fostering his wife and children. As per the Quran, bigamy is not sanctified unless a man can do justice to orphans.
The bench comprising Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV observed, “The religious mandate of Sura 4 Ayat 3 (of Quran) is binding on all Muslim men which specifically mandates all Muslim men to deal justly with orphans and then they can marry women of their choice two or three or four but if a Muslim man fears that he will not be able to deal justly with them then only one. If a Muslim man is not capable of fostering his wife and children then as per the above mandate of the Holy Quran, he cannot marry the other woman.”
The bench was hearing an appeal filed by a Muslim man against a family court’s order dismissing his suit seeking restoration of conjugal rights in connection with his first wife.
The plaintiff-appellant admitted that he contracted a second marriage and did not disclose the same to his respondent-wife. After the first wife refused to agree to his wish to live with both wives and refused to share his consortium with another woman, the man filed a petition seeking restoration of conjugal rights. Considering the facts of the case, the family court dismissed his plea.
The petitioner challenged the order in High Court.
The High Court bench considered that the conduct of the plaintiff-appellant husband to suppress the information about his second marriage amounts to cruelty.
Noting that the first wife cannot be compelled to live with the appellant, the court remarked, “If the contention of the plaintiff-appellant/ husband for the grant of decree of conjugal rights is accepted, then from point of view of the defendant-respondent/wife, it would amount to a breach of her fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
Addressing the fact that the husband had performed second marriage during the lifetime of his first marriage, the bench referred to Sura 4 Ayat 3 of the Holy Quran to emphasise that as per Quran, bigamy is not sanctified unless a man can do justice to orphans, who in the present set of facts are the respondent and her children.
The bench added, “As per the mandate of the Holy Quran as noted above all Muslim men have to deal justly with orphans. A married Muslim man having his wife alive cannot marry another Muslim woman if he cannot deal justly with the orphan. A mandate has been given that in such circumstances a Muslim man has to prevent himself to perform a second marriage, if he is not capable of fostering his wife and children.”