SC reserves verdict on triple talaq

Amos Gonzales
May 20, 2017

Essentially the focus remained on what is the fundamental area the Shariat law occupied and whether Triple Talaq is an integral part of Shariat or personal law.

When Mulla was referred to by senior advocate Salman Khurshid on Thursday, Justice Nariman said, "Mulla was not only a great scholar on Muslim law but also a qualified priest like me in the Parsi community".

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, asked the Centre as to why it did not legislate to regulate marriages and divorce among Muslims.

The court was told that the AIMPLB would file an affidavit stating its decision and include a copy of the model Nikaah Nama.

"Can it be made possible to give an option to a wife that she can say that she was agreeable to or not agreeable to it (triple talaq)?".

That the bride has opted out of triple talaq would be recorded in the Nikaah Nama, the court was told.

Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the judges on the bench, asked, prompting Sibal to seek a week's time for the Urdu draft to be translated into English. "Lots of sinful practices are still protected as customs", Sibal said.

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"Yes, you should not hear", replied Sibal. He argued, "In the past, whenever Courts have decided on matters of faith, there was a law enacted by Parliament/State Legislature, an Ordinance or an executive order before it".

Earlier on Thursday, hinting towards the difference in his and All India Muslim Personal Law Board's (AIMPLB) opinion, Khurshid suggested that the court should harmonise different views so that becomes one acceptable view available for the courts in the country. Also, by implication, triple talaq itself doesn't become extinct if a woman desires the provision.

On the question of whether the Centre would bring in legislation or not, Rohatgi said that even when there was no legislation, courts had all the authority to intervene. The members of the bench are from different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.

But he said this practice whether sinful or not has existed as a practice for last 1,400 years and both men and women follow and accept it.

It first described instant triple talaq as "wrong", but "valid", then described it as a "matter of faith", hence not subject to judicial review and later came up with the plea that it was a "dying practice" which might end up being "revived", if challenged in the courts or debated in secular forums. Banning Muslim men in India from saying "I divorce you" three times to leave their wives won't protect women from destitution and women need education about economic rights, a leading women's rights lawyer said yesterday as a landmark case ended.

He said the court should look into the background of the making of the Indian Constitution.

Other reports by BadHub

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