Triple talaq should be declared invalid: Haryana Min

Marsha Scott
May 16, 2017

New Delhi:The Supreme Court considers the plea of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, says issues of polygamy and "nikah halala" will remain open for future adjudication.

Attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi told the court it was not an "ecclesiastical court" but a constitutional one that ought to decide cases on principles of law, morality and public order.

"The issue is not talaq, the issue is patriarchy that is part of every religion", he argued.

"This (enactment of the new law) can be done even now", Justice Joseph shot back, reiterating a point the bench had made last week when it asked whether the courts should intervene in a matter that Parliament appeared reluctant to touch.

Former Minister Arif Khan stated that the practice, far from being fundamental to Islam, violates the Quranic mandate. The bench is headed by Chief Justice of India Justice J S Khehar and has four other senior judges.

He said practices of marriage and divorce have been codified as "personal law" under Section 2 of the 1937 Act.

"Triple talaq is unconstitutional".

The constitution bench of the Indian Supreme Court, comprising senior-most judges, is now hearing several litigations filed by Muslim women and rights groups demanding a review of the practice of triple talaq among Muslims.

The apex court has stated that it would first examine whether the Islamic divorce practice "is fundamental to religion" and whether "it falls in the category of enforceable fundamental rights".

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Echoing the same, Congress leader Shobha Oza said that it was not right to comment over the matter when the hearing is already underway in the apex court.

This is a change of stance as up until now, the Centre had said it was only opposed to triple talaq where a husband instantly gets to divorce his wife by uttering "talaq, talaq, talaq".

In Islamic law, a divorced woman has to wait during the "iddat" period for about three months before she can remarry.

'The fact that Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion have undergone extensive reform goes to establish that the practices in question can not be regarded as integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practices.

A country like Pakistan has done away with triple talaq and India being a secular state continues to hold on to it, the Supreme Court was told on Monday.

Sibal further said court should not intervene in matters of faith.

The full on debates and discussions came to light when a petitioner, Shayara Banu, challenged the Muslim personal law over instantaneous application of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat), polygamy and nikah-halala.

In its last hearing on Friday, the apex court had observed that triple talaq was the "worst" and "not a desirable" way to end marriages among Muslims.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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