Marriage of Muslim woman during iddat not void: Court

Jerome Frank
May 16, 2017

The Centre insisted that all the three issues-triple talaq, polygamy, nikah halala-must be heard as the plea before the Supreme Court raises all the three questions.

He said if the practice of talaq was out of Article 25, then it has to be constitutionally moral, which means it has to be secular and non-discriminatory.

"Right to religion can not mean that Article 25 protects only what citizens do inside a temple, mosque, gurdwara or other religious institutions but not other customs or practices they perform outside", the bench said while responding to the AG's arguments.

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.

He said the issues of Muslim marriage and divorce were separated from religion in Shariat Act of 1937 itself and have been codified as personal law under Section 2 of the Act.

The SC made this remark when lawyer Salman Khurshid told the court that several Islamic schools of thought, including the one by All India Muslim Personal Law Board considered triple talaq as "abhorrent", yet valid. He said that triple talaq is an assault on gender equality and human rights.

"Let's say, tomorrow you declare that triple talaq is not an essential part of religion".

Furthermore, Shaista, while drawing upon secularism in India, said the Muslim women would continue to abide by the Shariyat law, adding that the apex court would surely take religious sentiments and teachings of the Quran into account before pronouncing the verdict.

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Earlier on Monday the top court had said it was keeping open the issues of practice of polygamy and "nikah halala" among Muslims for adjudication in future.

Rohtagi pointed out that polygamy and "nikah halala" were also part of the order of a two-judge bench of the apex court that had referred the case to the Constitution bench.

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.

Rohatgi announced this after the court asked him what the remedies are for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.

Rohatgi said the instant talaq was unconstitutional under Article 13 (laws, customs, practices in derogation of fundamental rights), 14 (equality) 15 (prohibition against discrimination) and 21 (life and liberty).

Among petitioners, there is optimism that the Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the matter and discussing a social malaise that in particular, afflicts the lower strata of the Muslim community.

"The Central Government makes rules but in my opinion the apex court should not interfere into it", Sibal said.

"Triple talaq is unlawful".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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