Can women reject triple talaq, apex court asks Muslim board


3 May: SC allows Salman Khurshid as amicus curiae in hearing of pleas challenging constitutional validity of triple talaq, "nikah halala" and polygamy.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested that the Central government put in place a law addressing the question of marriage and divorce, including triple talaq, in the Muslim community instead of waiting for the court to decide the issue judicially. It should test triple talaq on the anvil of the Constitution rather than the Quran. Any rational person would agree that the practice of triple talaq needs to be abolished because of the way it results in the abuse of women.

Dismissing the petition by Ali Faizi, family court judge Ramesh Bhai noted that the petitioner had failed to produce evidence of the due procedures followed for talaq in question as per the religious law. "My creator can not make me secondary to a man just because I'm a woman", said BMMA co-founder Noorjehan in January. The court described the issue before it as something not between the majority and the minority communities but an intra-minority issue of tussle between Muslim men and women - which he said was a tussle between haves (men) and have-nots (women). "In case of Muslim law, you will say it violates provisions of the Constitution", Sibal told the court.

Rohatgi referred to practises "sati", infanticide, "devdasi" and untouchability among Hindus and said that they have been done away with.

Article 25 guarantees the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

"It is not only not an essential part of Muslim religion, it is not a part of religion at all".

He added that the court must look into these aspects, because a community can not decide what constitutes a fundamental right.

Continuing the arguments in "triple talaq" case for the fifth day, the Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the practice of instant divorce is not an essential part of Islam and it can not be allowed to continue in the court simply because of 1,400 years old practice.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal had told the apex court on Tuesday that the practice of triple talaq forms a part of faith under the Muslim law that has continued for centuries.

Former Union minister and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing the AIMPLB, said that he will respond to after talking to all the board members.

"Triple talaq is there since 637. But if there is a clash between your personal law practices and the fundamental rights of equality and dignity, your personal law practices should give way", Mr. Rohatgi replied. Has it (triple talaq) going on in consistently for 1,400 years? He said if the secular Supreme Court decides to undertake suo motu (on its own) scrutiny of the issue, with the Centre seeking a ban, then the community may take a tough stand.

16 May: AIMPLB says triple talaq is a 1,400-year-old practice, and constitutional morality and equity can not arise when a matter of faith is concerned.

The argument began when Sibal said that the apex court should not decide or interfere in one's faith and belief.

The bench heard seven petitions with the lead petition titled as "Quest for Equality vs Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind".

AIMPLB said that the board has made a decision to issue a code of conduct and warned that those who give talaq (divorce) without Sharia (Islamic law) reasons will face social boycott.