The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide free medical treatment and adequate security to a woman attacked with acid in Bulandshahr for refusing to accept ‘triple talaq’ and undergo ‘nikah halala’.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud directed that the Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police would be responsible for the safety and security of petitioner Shabnam Rani.
The bench also asked the state to consider grant of compensation to her as per the law.
The bench directed a bunch of Muslim women petitioners, who have challenged the validity of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ in the top court, to approach Superintendents of Police concerned for security if they feared threat to their lives.
Shabnam was attacked with acid on September 13 by her brother-in-law for “refusing to undergo nikah halala”. The attack occurred while she was on way to file a police complaint against an alleged assault by her in-laws on September 12.
After the attack, she approached the apex court for security and medical treatment. The court had on Friday sought a response from Uttar Pradesh on her plea.
Shabnam is one of the women who have filed petitions against ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy in the apex court.
She had earlier approached the top court after her husband gave her ‘triple talaq’ one and a half years after their marriage. She has been living with her in-laws in Bulandshahr despite the summary divorce.
A batch of pleas have been pending before the apex court to challenge the practice of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ (temporary marriage among Shias) and ‘nikah misyar’ (short-term marriage among Sunnis) on grounds that these violate Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.
Under ‘nikah halala’, if a Muslim woman, after divorce by her husband three times on different instances, wants to go back to him, she has to marry another person, consumate her marriage, divorce her second husband so as to get re-married to her first spouse.