BJP minority morcha welcomes SC verdict on triple talaq

by Antonio Miles August 27, 2017, 0:45
BJP minority morcha welcomes SC verdict on triple talaq

India's top court yesterday banned a controversial Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives instantly, saying it was unconstitutional.

During the hearings, the court had clarified that it would only deliberate on whether the practice of triple talaq is part of an "enforceable" fundamental right to practice religion among Muslims, and would not go into the practice of polygamy.

The five judges were from India's major faiths - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

They said it was "manifestly arbitrary" to allow a man to "break down (a) marriage whimsically and capriciously". Legal experts said all pending cases would be decided as per the law laid down by the apex court in its judgment and all such talaq cases will have to be declared invalid. Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Naseer, in their separate judgment, are of the view that the practice of talaq-e-biddat, however unjust, can not be set aside on the violation of constitutional morality through a judicial order. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the decision, declaring it a "powerful measure for women's empowerment".

"What is required is to work for equal rights for women within each religious community and to get reforms undertaken in this direction".

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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi, who has also been an opponent of any ban on triple talaq through judicial intervention, cautioned that though the "I respect the verdict but its implementation on the ground will be a Herculean task".

"Today, the Muslims across India are living in fear. What is banned in theology can not be good in law", he observed. He said the practice should not violate public health, morality and order. He said that Islam can not have any room to dictate to any person and the Quran says that killing an innocent person was like killing the entire humanity. In 1985, the Supreme Court had ruled that 60-year Shah Bano was entitled to maintenance like any other Indian woman after her husband had divorced her. Shah Bano eventually died in 1992 and her case continues to be a milestone.

The court had also taken note of repeated submissions by the AIMPLB and former Union Minister and senior lawyer Salman Khurshid, who was assisting it in his personal capacity, that triple talaq is not mentioned in the Quran and is "sinful", "irregular", "patriarchal", "bad in theology" and "undesirable". More than a dozen Muslim-majority countries have banned triple talaq, including Iran and Pakistan, but it has persisted in India because there is no uniform set of laws governing marriage, inheritance and divorce. Her husband had divorced her through triple talaq on Tuesday.

The board had earlier accused Mr Modi of triggering an "internal war" in India with plans to introduce a common civil code for all religions.

After hearing prolonged arguments, the bench had reserved its verdict on a clutch of petitions, including the one by Shayara Banu, who challenged the Muslim Personal Law and its retrograde practices.

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