Day 3 - Triple Talaq hearing in Supreme Court

Posted May 16, 2017

However, taking a more aggressive stand, the Centre said it was not just opposed to talaq-ul-biddat (instantaneous triple talaq) but also the two other forms - talaq-ahsan and talaq hasan (in which there is provision for revocation) - and all three will have to be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court is now deciding the constitutional validity of triple talaq. The Supreme Court asked for details of how the practices are followed in Islamic nations.

To buttress his argument that practices or customs were not an essential part of religion, he said that in the Hindu religion, women used to practice Sati till the law termed it as illegal and obsolete.

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. But even when it expires, making the divorce official, the couple can remarry, unless he declares it again, known as "triple talaq".

Even theocratic states have undergone reform in this area of the law and therefore in a secular republic like India there is no reason to deny women the rights available under the Constitution, he said.

The Attorney General also said what kind of religious practices are essential to a particular religion or faith was hard to define for the court.

Many Muslims women have shown their views and they had opposed the practice of triple talaq as several pleas were filed by Muslim women challenging the practice of triple talaq, on hearing it the apex court has chose to observe that whether the issue is fundamental to religion or not.

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Representing the government, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the Islam practiced in India was not "pure Islam" but an "anglicized" form of the religion.

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

To this, Justice Rohinton F Nariman said that marriages are inexplicably a part of the religion and that is why we had separate enactments for different religions to deal with such issues.

Citing the limited time that is available, the bench said that as of now it would focus on the validity of triple talaq, leaving other two issues for the future. "We will keep them pending for future".

Earlier on Monday, the Centre insisted on deliberations on the practice of "nikah halala" and polygamy among Muslims as well.

'The fact that Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion have undergone extensive reform goes to establish that the practices in question can not be regarded as integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious practices.