If triple talaq is sin, why retain it: SC

SC reserves verdict in triple talaq case

A unique, multi-faith five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, with a Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim on it, concluded hearings on the challenge to the triple talaq practice on Thursday but Justice Abdul Nazeer did not utter a single word during the six-day hearing.

The stinging remarks come two days after the bench said: 'There are school of thoughts (which) say that triple talaq is legal, but it is the worst and not desirable form for dissolution of marriages among Muslims'.

The bench had begun the hearing on May 11. He argued, "In the past, whenever Courts have decided on matters of faith, there was a law enacted by Parliament/State Legislature, an Ordinance or an executive order before it". He contended that triple talaq is "pristine" personal law and Section 2 of the Shariat Act of 1937 does not "subsume, abrogate or modify, but only perpetuates" what is written in the scriptures and religious interpretable texts. The personal law board has said that the harmonising effect can not be done by the court and should not be done by the court. A nikahnama is an Islamic marriage contract or prenuptial agreement.

Senior counsel Amit Singh Chadha, appearing for petitioner Shayara Bano, pointed out in front the bench that 'it will not solve our problems as married women will still have to go to court if in case talaq is pronounced'. Banning Muslim men in India from saying "I divorce you" three times to leave their wives won't protect women from destitution and women need education about economic rights, a leading women's rights lawyer said yesterday as a landmark case ended.

"Yes, you should not hear", replied Sibal.

Sibal attacked Centre's argument asking the Court to strike down triple talaq for lacking constitutional morality.

Noting that only practices fundamental to religion are protected under the Constitution, the Supreme Court asked Muslim bodies on Wednesday how instant talaq can be both an essential part of religion as well as 'sinful'.

Chief Justice Khehar said: "Did court do it?" In all likelihood, the apex court will strike down the practice of triple talaq as illegal. She said it was after months of research and consultations with scholars that she prepared a draft which included progressive provisions like giving women the right to pronounce talaq and the Quranic method of talaq which invalidates triple talaq or instant divorce.

The board also showed the court a resolution passed on April 14, 2017, which stated triple talaq as a sin and that the community should boycott the person doing such an act.

On Wednesday, Mr Sibal cautioned the court from deciding this issue as it could lead to a backlash from the Muslim community, which might view it as its rights being infringed upon and resort to supporting practices like polygamy and oral divorce.

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

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