Marriage of Muslim woman during 'iddat' not void: Court

Trevor Jackson
May 16, 2017

- Rohatgi tells Constitution Bench that triple talaq violates women's rights to equality within the community.

Last week, the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board had argued that the instant talaq, far from being sanctioned by the Quran, actually violated the holy book's teachings of compassion.

Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the AIMPLB, argued that a tradition like triple talaq, which is centuries old, can not be termed unconstitutional all of a sudden.

"At a time when theocratic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are moving towards reform, we being a secular country are still debating", Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court.

Arvind Kejriwal has been badly exposed after serious charges have been levelled by his own ousted minister Kapil Mishra, he added.

The five-judge bench hearing the case also said the centre has to prove triple talaq's redundancy in Islam. "But the court should first strike down these practices which are not in confirmity with the Constitution", he said. We are sure the decision will be taken in line with our Muslim personal law and the constitution.

Earlier the A-G insisted that polygamy and nikah halala among Muslims were also to be decided by the court as they form part of triple talaq.

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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 Centre assured the Supreme Court on Monday that it would bring in a law to oversee divorce among Muslims if all forms of talaq were struck down, prompting the court to observe that this might erase personal laws and it was bound by the Constitution to protect the rights of minorities.

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

In its last hearing on Friday, the apex court had observed that triple talaq was the "worst" and "not a desirable" way to end marriages among Muslims.

A five-judge seat of the summit court additionally watched that it would not hear polygamy issue alongside the triple talaq case.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that AIMPLB should apologise for justifying triple talaq by saying that men have greater strength to control their emotions.

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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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