Will hear only triple talaq case, says apex court

Appearing for the AIMPLB, senior advocate Kapil Sibal questioned how could Triple Talaq be un-Islamic when it has been in practice for 1,400 years.

"The scope of referring had all the three issues that was divorce, nikah halala, polygamy".

The bench is hearing petitions from individuals and organisations challenging the constitutional validity of the instant triple talaq, with the Centre supporting them on the ground of Muslim women's rights. The Supreme Court clarified on Monday, the day three of the hearing, May 15, 2017, that it had not closed the window to scrutiny of the two contentious issues, though it said that a decision on triple talaq wouldn't have any bearing on those two issues.

"We will keep them pending for future", said a five-judge Constitution bench consisted by Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit, Abdul Nazeer and headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar.

Triple talaq is the lone controversial way Sunni Muslim men in India can get a divorce.

The board has asserted that a practice which is being followed for 1,400 year cannot be termed as un-Islamic.

"Triple talaq is unconstitutional".

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Kapil Sibal however blundered again by saying that the cases being relied upon by Kerala, Madras, Delhi and Gauhati High Courts had observations from scholars who belonged to "the Ahle Hadees school of Islam and the Qadianis".

Even bigger blunder by Sibal on day four of the triple talaq hearing in the Supreme Court was when he said "triple talaq can not be tampered with as it's something the Qura'n is silent about".

As Rohatgi emphasised on gender equality of Muslim women including with their counterparts in other religions and in other Islamic countries, the court said that he was talking of gender equality, equality between religions and equality between the people of different countries and in this way, all marriage laws should go and civil marriage was the only course. The Attorney-General said all three forms of triple talaq - talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahasan - are "unilateral, extrajudicial, unequal" and have to be struck down. The practice is a matter of trust so no question arises of legitimate ethics and equity.

He asked: "If there is a conflict between constitutional morality and personal law, which shall prevail?"

On Friday, the bench called the practice of triple talaq the "worst" and "not desirable" form of dissolution of marriages among Muslims.

The AIMPLB counsel said the age-old practice was "part of my faith and you can not determine what should be my faith".

"There was a discussion that whether Triple Talaq is valid constitutionally". The national Law Commission previous year sought public views on whether to abolish the practice, triggering a debate between politicians and religious leaders. Immediately after a few years of the death of Prophet Muhammad, the companions of Prophet Muhammad talked about triple talaq.

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