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Can women reject triple talaq, apex court asks Muslim board

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of ‘nikahnama’ (Islamic marriage contract).

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also said if all ‘qazis’ can be asked to include this condition at the time of marriage.

“Is it possible that Muslim women are given an option to say ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of nikahnama,” asked the bench also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.


While seeking response from former Union Minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing AIMPLB, the bench said, “Don’t infer anything from our side.”

Also Read: Woman can ask for very high ‘mehr’ amount in case of triple talaq, AIMPLB to Supreme Court

Wednesday was the fifth day of the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ which is going on before a bench comprising members of different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.

On Tuesday, the law board had equated the issue of triple talaq with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya, saying these were matters of faith and cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality.

Taking off from where it left on Tuesday, the AIMPLB again questioned the court’s competence to hear the case as it defended the divorce practice. Instant triple talaq was not a popular way to end a marriage and such cases accounted for only 0.44% of divorces among Muslims, it said.

The board had on Tuesday said the divorce was being practised for 1,400 years and was a matter of faith.

A five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar is hearing pleas challenging the practice that allows a Muslim man to end his marriage by uttering the word talaq (I divorce you) thrice in one go.

Earlier in the day, the court said instant triple talaq is not part of the Quran and is a latter-day practice. It asked why the controversial custom shouldn’t be barred when some Islamic clerics describe as sinful additions to the Muslim holy book.

“If biddat is sin, then why not talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq),” the court said on the day the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) argued its case for triple talaq. Biddat, which loosely translates to innovation in religious matters, is something which is not in Quran and is a later day addition.

A nikahnama is prenuptial agreement that spells out the rights and responsibilities of the groom and the bride.

The National Commission for Women, meanwhile, said it was ready to submit its opinion on abolition of triple talaq if the SC asked for it. “As such NCW is against triple talaq.. It should go and it should be abolished,” NCW member Rekha Sharma told reporters to a question whether it will offer its opinion on the issue if the apex court asked.

Who said what on instant divorce

Supreme court asked All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) if it was possible to give woman the option, before she gives her consent to nikaah, that the marriage she was entering into would not be dissolved through triple talaq

SC constitution bench suggested that a clause can be added on the nikah nama to say the marriage can’t be dissolved by the husband by pronouncing triple talaq

The bench asked whether it was possible for the AIMPLB to do that and whether their advisory would be followed by the qazis at the ground

Recent resolution passed by AIMPLB in Lucknow asked the community to boycott men who take recourse to triple talaq to dissolved their marriages

AIMPLB said community needed time to change and reform itself on its own without any outside interference or dictate wednesday was the fifth day of the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy, nikah halala which is going on before a bench comprising members.

A nikahnama is prenuptial agreement that spells out  rights and responsibilities of the groom and the bride.