June 23, 2017

Farooq Abdullah puts onus on AIMPLB over triple talaq matter

20 May 2017, 12:54 | Sue Hudson

New Muslim divorce law if triple talaq is struck down, government tells Supreme Court

Women are not allowed to use the method and are often left homeless and with no money- leading to many appealing to overturn it at the Supreme Court

The Centre today told the Supreme Court that if it abolished Triple Talaq, it would bring in a new law on the issue.

Terming triple talaq as part of Muslim belief and faith that has existed for past 1,400 years, Sibal said issues of faith can not be examined from the standpoint of Constitutional morality as there is grave danger in interpreting the faith what 160 million people in the country have accepted as part of their faith over the centuries.

Nikah halala allows a woman to go back to her husband but only after she marries someone else, consummates the marriage and gets a divorce.

However, the top court said that they have limited time, so all the matters could not be covered at present.

"This court is not expected to interpret the Quran", he told the five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, R.F. Nariman, U.U. Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.

"Instant divorce is a practice in many countries".

He said no legislation can take the place of a custom, being practised over 1400 years, and it cannot be termed un- Islamic. Who are we to say that this is un-Islamic.

"Likewise, Triple Talaq is there since 637". "Is e-talaq also there?" the court asked.

The court had said on Thursday it would only look into triple talaq.

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The court said that marriage as an institution is crystallised by religion, drawing an objection from him and inviting a comment from the bench that if marriage was not rooted in religion, then what was it.

Sibal said that ceremonies related to birth, marriage, divorce, properties and death are decided by family influenced by social norms, which can not be tested on the ground of constitutional morality.

"There was a talk that whether Triple Talaq is legitimate unavoidably".

However, revisiting the 1951 judgement is one of the central tenets of the petitioners' written submissions, particularly, the Bebaak Collective submission, which argues that personal laws, being statutes and thereby laws in force, must come under Article 13 and be subject to constitutional scrutiny when they violate fundamental rights of citizens.

Sibal also equated triple talaq with the belief among Hindus that Lord Rama was born at Ayodhya. "But when it is about a Muslim you say it is violation of Article 14, 15 and 21", said Sibal, according to News18. Immediately after a few years of the death of Prophet Muhammad, the companions of Prophet Muhammad talked about triple talaq.

However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has opposed any judicial interference in what it calls a religious matter, protected under Article 25, which grants freedom of religion.

The bench insisted that the government has to prove that this practice of triple talaq was not essential to Islam and only then can it delve further into other aspects.

Monday was the last day for those challenging triple talaq to state their points before the five judges from different religions: Sikh, Christian, Parsee, Hindu and Muslim.

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