SC reserves verdict on triple talaq

Ivan Schwartz
May 19, 2017

"You (Khurshid) say it is sinful". He, however, argued that the court should not examine it.

At this, Rohatgi said: "I will do what I have to do".

Deviating from the Muslim Personal Law Board's opinion, Khurshid said one can not contract out of faith, just like one can not legislate out of faith.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi disagrees and past year waded into a controversy by saying he believed it was destroying women's lives, with Muslims making up about 13 per cent of the country's 1.2 billion people.

A female member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has claimed that two decades back she had suggested a provision in the nikahnama (marriage contract) giving women a right to pronounce talaq, but the proposal was shot down by her co-panelists.

Mr Anand Grover summed up saying triple talaq is not found in Quran, that it was deprecated by the Prophet himself and was considered sinful by all schools of thought of Sunnis and Shias. If she registers her protest, it will be placed as a condition in the nikaah nama that will bind both parties to the marriage, Sibal said.

To this Sibal replied, "It is sinful". Mr Sibal said that the court should be concerned with institutional morality and not popular morality. Probably, he was well aware of the origin, practice and prevalence of triple talaq among Muslims in India and overseas.

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When Rohatgi cited the steps taken to reform Hindu practices, including the banning of sati, infanticide and the devadasi system, Justice Joseph said that all those were legislatively decided.

CJI J S Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit freely engaged the counsel seeking clarifications on doubts over religious practices and customs of the Muslim community, but Justice Nazeer had no question to ask.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) appears to be tripping all over itself in responding to the growing momentum in favour of outlawing triple talaq.

However, the top court said that they have a limited time, so all the matters could not be covered at present. There is a process, follow the process.The court is not to decide what are the sinful practices in the world.

However, the Central government has termed triple talaq and all its forms as unconstitutional and has demanded that it must be struck down. "Substantiating my view with reasons and examples, I asserted that it can not be justified and can not be given law's validation", Khurshid said during the hearing.

Jahan was given Triple Talaq by her husband Asif inside the Gadarpur police station. In his concluding arguments on behalf of the board, Sibal cautioned the apex court not to take the "dangerous and slippery slope".

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Muslim bodies how a practice like triple talaq can be a matter of "faith" when they have been asserting that it is "patriarchal", "bad in theology" and "sinful".

Other reports by GizPress

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