The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would not examine the Islamic custom of polygamy while hearing petitions challenging triple talaq, described as biased by several Muslim women who want the divorce practice scrapped.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said it would look into the aspect whether triple talaq was “fundamental” to the right to practice Islam.
“We are going to decide the validity of triple talaq,” the CJI said of the controversial Islamic practice of a man divorcing his wife by pronouncing the word talaq (I divorce you) thrice in one go.
The bench sought suggestions on the broad parameters of the directions the court may issue while deciding the validity of triple talaq.
Triple talaq refers to the Islamic tradition that lets men divorce women by pronouncing talaq thrice.
India has separate sets of personal laws for each religion governing marriage, divorce, succession, adoption and maintenance. While much of the Hindu law overhaul began in the 1950s and continues, activists have long argued that Muslim personal law has remained mostly unchanged.
The Modi government has said it wants to replace the triple talaq divorce and other Islamic personal laws with a new uniform civil code applicable to all religious groups. That proposal has met stiff opposition from Muslim groups, who argue that it would discriminate against them.
But about two dozen Muslim women’s groups have in recent years mounted legal challenges to triple talaq, which they say discriminates against them and violates their human rights.