SC concludes triple talaq hearings, reserves verdict

Tabitha Dunn
May 20, 2017

"How can a sinful practice be said to be a matter of faith?", said the bench. Has it (triple talaq) going on in consistently for 1,400 years?

The Supreme Court on Thursday concluded hearing in the triple talaq issue and reserved its verdict even as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it has chose to issue an advisory to Qazis to give an option to Muslim women to opt out of instant triple talaq before giving consent for nikaah. Moreover, this Court is not called upon to decide the sinful practices in the world, he added, indicating several sinful customs given sanction of personal laws in the country.

Sibal insisted that triple talaq is a part of personal laws of the community and gets protection from the court's scrutiny. The bench was told that the AIMPLB would file an affidavit before the court stating its decision.

"It is a problem if there is a law that protects women from being rendered homeless overnight", she said, citing a case of a woman whose husband said he divorced her when she was asleep.

The bench had begun the hearing on May 11.

To this Sibal replied, "It is sinful". A point that was driven home by an emphatic and near-unanimous "no" in the courtroom when Kapil Sibal, the counsel for the board, suggested that women accept the sin of instant triple talaq. Also, by implication, triple talaq itself doesn't become extinct if a woman desires the provision. He said it was not the domain of the court to declare the practice illegal or unconstitutional.

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"That is why, what is sinful can not be part of practice".

The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had asked AIMPLB, "Can it be that the AIMPLB passes a resolution binding all Quazis to incorporate a condition in the nikaah nama which gives the woman option to say no to triple talaq before she gives her consent to marry". The members of the bench are from different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.

"There was a discussion that whether triple talaq is valid constitutionally".

Earlier the CJI also questioned the claim of another lawyer that triple talaq was sacrosanct and court could not interfere asking, you yourself say it is the worst kind of divorce, sinful then how can triple talaq be sacrosanct and fundamental to religion and if it is not fundamental to religion, article 25 (freedom of religion) and 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) will not come in.

Even this minor "concession" stemmed from the court's suggestion that the board direct the qazis tasked with solemnising marriages to stop prevent men from divorcing their wives on a whim by merely uttering talaq three times in one go.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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