Triple talaq not integral to Islam, Centre tells Indian S/Court

Glen Mclaughlin
May 20, 2017

In that prayer, you say triple talaq is a sin and bad. "Somebody gave this book to us", he said, referring to the Quran.

What is worse is that the AIMPLB in its affidavit to the Supreme Court took up positions that sound not just obscurantist, but also outrageous.

"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)?". If the groom did later pronounce the triple talaq, the bride would be able to challenge its validity in court by citing the nikahnama. On Thursday, the AIMPLB readily accepted the suggestion and said it would pass a resolution to that effect, and send a model nikahnama incorporating this, alongside an advisory to the effect, to qazis, religious officials who preside over Muslim marriages.

The Bench comprised of five judges from 5 different religions i.e. Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and Parsi. "Parliament can interfere, it can make a law", replied Sibal. The women petitioners created a commotion as they strongly protested against Sibal's comment on Muslim women too supporting triple talaq.

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.

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. 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. The only remedy is to come before this constitutional court", he told the bench that also included Justices R.F. Nariman, U.U. Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.

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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.

"There was a discussion that whether triple talaq is valid constitutionally".

Even this minor "concession" stemmed from the court's suggestion that the board direct the qazis tasked with solemnising marriages to stop prevent men from divorcing their wives on a whim by merely uttering talaq three times in one go.

The Supreme Court of India, for a long time now, is concerned with the controversial practice of Islamic divorce, known as the "triple talaq".

Counsel Kapil Sibal's argument of "majority can not make laws for the minority", on Wednesday said that triple talaq was an "intra-minority issue where the men formed the class of "haves" and women were the "have-nots" and stated that courts were not the place to discuss religious texts.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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