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Triple talaq: AIMPLB says SC verdict ‘huge victory’ as it protects Muslim personal law

The Supreme Court struck down the practice of saying “talaq”, or divorce, three times in one go, as arbitrary and unconstitutional, and said it violated women’s right to equality and was against the tenets of Islam.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 20:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Members of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board celebrate the SC verdict on triple talaq in Lucknow on Tuesday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the apex body of Muslim clerics that opposes the ban on triple talaq, welcomed Tuesday’s Supreme Court judgement saying it “accords” protection to Muslim personal laws.

The top court struck down the controversial Islamic instant divorce law as arbitrary and unconstitutional on Tuesday.

“ We as a representative body, welcome the judgement of Supreme Court since it accords the protection to Muslim personal law and says that personal laws cannot be tested on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. The majority (comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and justice Abdul Nazeer with Justice Kurian Joseph agreeing) has accorded personal laws the status of fundamental rights being protected under the right to practice religion contained in Article 25,” the Board said in an official statement.

“This is a huge victory for us as the judgement vindicates our stand and ensures that fundamental rights of citizens of this country to freely practice and profess their religious beliefs,” it said.

As far as talaq-e-biddat is concerned we had already submitted to the court that the practice, though has basis in religious texts and belief, is not the best way of pronouncing talaq,” the board said.

“We ourselves have taken steps to discourage this practice through reform programmes and model form of Nikahnama issued by the Board,” it said.

AIMPLB had on May 22, 2017 informed the court that about issuing instructions to clerics (who solemnise the marriage) to include the provision of excluding the triple-talaq in one sitting (tala-e-biddat) in the nikahnama (contract) at the time of wedding. It had also launched a signature campaign seeking non-interference in Muslim personal law. The Board said in the morning that it will meet in Bhopal on September 10 to discuss the Supreme Court verdict striking down instant triple talaq and chalk out its strategy

“The Supreme Court verdict cannot be misused by the government to try to interfere with personal laws through legislation,” the statement said.

AIMPLB’s women’s wing says triple talaq judgement contradictory, fractured

The women’s wing of the AIMPLB termed as “contradictory” and “fractured” the judgement of the Supreme Court.

Asma Zehra, the chief organiser of the women’s wing, told IANS in Hyderabad that the judgement is confusing.

She said that while they respect the judgement, they do not appreciate interference in the Muslim personal law as right to religious freedom is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution.

She said she also believed that the legislation on the issue could open doors for interference in the Muslim personal law.

Noting that the practice was already vanishing in the Muslim community, she said the judgement will have very little impact on society.

Zehra claimed that triple talaq does not always work against women. “Many a time it is an exit mechanism to relieve women from unsuccessful and troublesome marriages.”

“Talaq is a non-issue and divorce rate is the least in the Muslim community. Muslims have divorce rate of only 0.5% whereas it is 1.64% in the Hindu community,” she said.

Condemning politicisation of the issue, she said: “The ruling party, the fringe elements and the so-called Muslim women organisations who had initiated this media campaign and movement against triple talaq couldn’t get much out of the judgement.”

According to her, the first part of the judgement is in favour and supportive of Muslim personal law while in the second part, two judges stated that this practice cannot be protected under Article 25.

She said Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer stated that only the issue of “talaq-e-biddat needs re-examination”.

“Article 25 is a fundamental right and it cannot be set aside on ground of judicial morality. International convention and practices of other countries are of no avail as practice of triple talaq is protected by Article 25,” Zehra said quoting the two judges.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 20:21 IST