Triple Talaq: Centre submits four questions for Supreme Court to consider

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The bench said a detailed hearing of petitions challenging the validity of the practices will commence from May 11.

The bench said, "The issues are very important".

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said these "were constitutional issues of very significance and needed to be considered".

Among the issues framed by parties are whether: the apex court has the jurisdiction to examine the Constitutional validity of the practices of talaq-e-bidat, nikah halala, and polygamy; they violated fundamental right of equality, right to life and liberty; they are not protected by the right to profess and practise religion; and whether they are compatible with India's obligations under global treaties and covenants. If we do not avail of this opportunity to finish deciding this issue now, it can never be decided. It could be stretched at best by two more days as the bench could sit even on Saturday and Sunday to complete the arguments.

However, the SC had clarified on Tuesday that it would not touch upon the issue relating to uniform civil code while examining the legality of triple talaq. The questions were framed to help the Court decide the issue whether such personal laws can be faulted for discriminating against Muslim women and lowering their dignity and self-respect under the Constitution which professes equality of all citizens before the law.

Branding triple talaq as immoral, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday stated that the controversial practice only proved inequality between men and women which was unacceptable in the Indian society, adding that freedom of religion is subject to reasonable restrictions.

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

Shayara has also challenged in the apex court the concept of "nikah-halal", under which a woman must consummate another marriage in order to go back to her first husband if she wants to. She also wants to outlaw polygamy within a Muslim marriage. On the other hand, in a line of other judgments, the apex court has tested personal laws on the touchstone of fundamental rights and read down these laws or interpreted them so as to make them consistent with fundamental rights. The rights bestowed by religion can't be questioned in a court of law, it said. Whether this practices run counter to Constitutional Morality that guarantees equality before law and equal protection of laws?

A man in West Bengal raises a sign against the ban on triple talaq: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board made a decision to oppose Union Governments initiative against the triple talaq and the imposition of Uniform Civil Code in the country.

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