The Allahabad High Court in its 19 September order made public last week has held that a Muslim man cannot compel his first wife to live with him after marrying another woman without her knowledge.
The Allahabad High Court said that it was cruel of the man towards her first wife to suppress the fact about his second marriage.
Azizurrahman married Hamidunnisha in May 1999 and they had four children from the marriage.
The husband meanwhile also married for the second time. As per the judgment record, he concealed about his new marriage from his first wife Hamidunnisha and even when she sought an explanation after coming to know about second marriage, Azizurrahman did not bother to respond. Hamidunnisha subsequently left the house and is now living with her 93-year-old father.
In 2015, Azizurrahman petitioned a family court in Uttar Pradesh for restitution of conjugal rights, requesting that the court order his first wife to live with him. After the local family court denied his case in August of this year, he petitioned the Allahabad High Court.
Order of Allahabad High Court
The Allahabad High Court observed that If a Muslim man is unable to care for his wife and children, the Quran forbids him from marrying a second time.
The Allahabad High Court bench comprising Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Rajendra Kumar quoted Quranic verse as they emphasised on upholding the fundamental right of the wife.
According to the judgement, “The religious mandate of Sura 4 Ayat 3 is binding on all Muslim men which specifically mandates all Muslim men 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.”
The bench ruled that if the first wife does not want to cohabitate with her husband, she cannot be forced to live with him in a suit for restitution of conjugal rights filed by him.