Supreme Court of India to pronounce judgement on ‘triple talaq’ tomorrow

Supreme Court of India to pronounce judgement on ‘triple talaq’ tomorrow

NEW DELHI (INDIA): The Supreme Court of India (SCI) would tomorrow pronounce a historic judgement on the controversial issue of whether the practice of ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims is fundamental to the religion.nnA five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing during the summer vacation.nnDuring the hearing, the apex court had clarified that it may not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy and said it would only examine whether triple talaq was part of an “enforceable” fundamental right to practice religion by the Muslims.nnBesides CJI Khehar, the bench also included Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer.nnThe bench, made up of judges from different religious communities — Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim, had heard seven pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of ‘triple talaq’ in the community.nnThe petitioners had claimed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was unconstitutional.nnThe Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, have challenged the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in which the husband pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce.nnDuring the hearing, the apex court had observed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it “legal”.nnSeveral lawyers including noted jurist Ram Jethmalani had attacked the practice on various constitutional grounds including the right to equality and termed it “abhorrent”.nnIt was argued that triple talaq was a discrimination on the ground of sex and this practice was abhorrent to the tenets of holy Quran and no amount of advocacy can save this “sinful” practice which is contrary to constitutional tenets.nnThe Centre had told the bench that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if ‘triple talaq’ is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court.nnThe government had termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community – talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as “unilateral” and “extra-judicial”.nnIt has said that all personal laws must be in confirmity with the Constitution and rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession has to be treated in the same class and has to be in conformity with the Constitution.nnThe Centre had said ‘triple talaq’ is neither integral to Islam, nor a “majority versus minority” issue but rather an “intra-community tussle” between Muslim men and deprived women.nnThe apex court had said it was keeping open for adjudication in the future the issues of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims as the Centre had insisted deliberations on these aspects as well.nnSenior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had equated the issue of ‘triple talaq’ with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and these were matters of faith which cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality.nnHe had argued that triple talaq has been there since 637 AD and cannot be termed as un-Islamic as Muslims have been practising it for last 1,400 years.nnSibal had said that either Parliament can enact a law or it should be left to the community itself to deal and the court should not interfere on the issue.nnThe apex court during the hearing had asked the AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract).nnIt had asked Muslim bodies how a practice like triple talaq could be a matter of “faith” when they have been asserting that it is “patriarchal”, “bad in theology” and “sinful”.nnThe batch of pleas had also challenged the constitutional validity of other practices like ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims.nnThe bench had taken up the main matter on its own as a petition titled “Muslim Women’s quest for equality”.nnThe apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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