New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on August 22nd on the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’ practiced by Muslims as part of their personal law.
A five-judge bench comprising judges from five religions, Chief Justice JS Khehar (Sikh), Justices Kurian Joseph (Christian), Rohinton Nariman (Parsi), Uday Lalit (Hindu) and SA Abdul Nazeer (Muslim) will adjudicate whether the court can fiddle with the Muslim personal law.
It must be noted that at the end of arguments on ‘triple talaq’, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) submitted a draft ‘nikahnama’ (marriage agreement), which says that the bridegroom will not resort to instantaneous ‘triple talaq’ to seek divorce. The AIMPLB said a resolution to this effect had been passed and sent to all the kazis in the country.
The Bench held sittings during summer vacation to decide the validity of ‘triple talaq’. It was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality. The hearing was completed in six days. The petitioners had questioned the validity of triple talaq and had argued that it infringed with Muslim women’s fundamental right to equality.
The AIMPLB had asserted that triple talaq may be sinful but it is a practice in existence for close to 1400 years. “We don’t want the court to enter into a slippery slope. Court should not venture into the area and interpret something, which is not in its domain. Personal law, customs and faith cannot be tested under the garb of fundamental rights,” the Muslim board had said.
The then Attorney General, Mukul Rohtagi, had asserted that the issue of ‘triple talaq’ should not be seen as discrimination between majority and minority communities or the majority forcing its views on minority. “It is a tussle between haves and have-nots within the system. It is intra-community struggle between men and women because men are more resourceful, earner and educated,” he said.
The Centre argued that it is the duty of this court to step in and put a final end to the practice, which is not an integral part of religion.