NEW DELHI: Triple talaq is not a basic and integral part of Islam, quashing of which would shake the foundation of the religion, the Centre said to the Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday, reports Times of India.
“The triple talaq is all about men versus women within Muslim community where men are powerful, educated than women,” the Centre said.
The centre also said that the apex court should not shy away from examining the validity of triple talaq in the context of the country’s secular constitution.
“Triple talaq must not be seen from the prism of majority versus minority community, it’s an intra-community issue related to women’s right,” it said.
Earlier, the AIMPLB, through its lawyer Kapil Sibal, said challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq, or instant oral divorce, could lead to a backlash in the Muslim community, which might see its rights as being infringed upon and therefore resort to supporting practices like polygamy and oral divorce. As it is, triple talaq is practiced by a “minuscule portion” of the Muslim community, Sibal said.
He compared the Muslim community to small birds which are preyed upon by Golden eagles, who he likely implied are the majority and therefore bigger.
“The community’s nests must have Supreme Court protection,” Sibal said.
Sibal added that the Muslim community’s faith in the Supreme Court for the last 67 years is fundamental and that it is this faith that makes the country vibrant.
Today, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar asked whether the AIMPLB can issue a directive to clerics to record at the time of the nikahnama, or marriage contract, whether the woman accepts triple takaq or not.
Sibal said the Muslim law board will respond to this after talking to all board members.
The Board had said yesterday that marriage in the Muslim community is a contract and it is open for women to insist on specific clauses in the nikahnama to protect their interests and dignity, “The woman can also negotiate in the nikahnama and include provisions therein consistent with Islamic law to contractually stipulate that her husband does not resort to triple talaq, she has right to pronounce triple talaq in all forms, and ask for very high ‘mehr’ amount in case of talaq and impose such other conditions as are available to her in order to protect her dignity,” the Muslim law board said on Tuesday.
The constitutional validity of the practice of triple talaq is being heard in the Supreme Court by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Khehar.
The top court is to determine whether triple talaq is part of the fundamental right to religion of the Muslim community. It’s hearing a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq. The lead petition in the case is titled “Quest for Equality vs. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind”. Tagged with the case are six petitions by Khuran Sunnath Society, Shayara Bano, Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri.
The apex court fixed a six-day schedule for the hearing; three days for those challenging triple talaq and three days for those defending it.