Will hear only triple talaq case, says apex court

An Islamic divorce practice where a man says'talaq three times to end a marriage is now'really common in the UK- despite being banned in other countries

Day 3 – Triple Talaq hearing in Supreme Court

The practice of triple talaq enables Muslim men to get an instant divorce by uttering the word "talaq" or divorce thrice and is deemed to be sanctioned by the Shariat or Muslim personal laws, which govern their marriage and divorce in the country.

On Friday, the issue of whether personal law can be considered "law" under Article 13 of the Constitution was discussed.

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.

"Muslim women must have equal rights to property, succession, marriage and it should be non-discriminatory among the women of same class and other communities", Rohatgi said.

"When theocratic states are moving towards reform, then why is a secular country like India still practicing these things", he said, citing judgements of Kerala, Gauhati, Madras and Delhi High Courts which have said triple talaq was untenable in law.

Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the AIMPLB, argued that a tradition like triple talaq, which is centuries old, can not be termed unconstitutional all of a sudden.

When the bench sought a clarification, the AG said, "If all three forms of talaq are struck down, then we will not leave a vacuum".

After repeatedly announcing that it would not test the validity of any issue other than triple tala, the Supreme Court on Monday clarified that it had not closed the window to scrutiny of two contentious issues: polygamy and nikah halala.

The top court, earlier on Thursday, began hearing several pleas filed by Muslim women rejecting the practice of Triple Talaq.

The court also rejected the man's contention that the provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (PWDV) Act are not attracted as there are no allegations of physical, sexual or verbal abuse in the application.

"There was a talk that whether Triple Talaq is legitimate unavoidably". However, the apex court said it was keeping these issues open for adjudication in future.

"Matters of personal law have no relation with religion".

Citing examples, Khurshid told the court that the Triple Talaq practice can not be validated constitutionally.

Justice Nariman told the A-G, "You (the government) can not take away the rights of Muslims guaranteed under Article 25 (1) of the Constitution (right to profess and practice religion)".

However, some men have previously skipped the notice period by performing what is known as "triple talaq" in one sitting, which makes the split instantaneous.

In December previous year, the Allahabad High Court termed the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word "talaq" thrice "unconstitutional".

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