The debate on validity of triple talaq intensified after the Allahabad High Court on Thursday termed the system as unconstitutional. The court added that it is the Constitution of India that is supreme and not the Muslim Law Board. The high court bench said that Triple Talaq violated human rights and that personal law of any community cannot be above the Constitution.
Pronouncing its order on the sensitive issue, the HC said the triple talaq system practice in the Muslim community violates the rights of Muslim women.
The court slammed All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s stand of supporting triple talaq saying, “No Personal Law Board is above the Constitution.”
The high court’s order deals with the plea by a Muslim man and his second wife seeking protection against police action. The court didn’t pronounce on legality of triple talaq saying that the Supreme Court is seized of matter but observed that the practice of triple talaq is cruel and demeaning. However, the court left the issues of divorce to the first wife through triple talaq as well as second marriage open and simply dismissed the man’s plea of protection.
The Narendra Modi government had in October informed the Supreme Court that triple talaq form of divorce is not an essential religious practice in Islam.
In its affidavit in response to a batch of petitions questioning the validity of triple talaq, the Centre said that the validity of triple talaq and polygamy has to be seen in the light of gender justice, equality and dignity of women. It said women in India should not be denied their constitutional rights even as several Muslim countries have undergone extensive reforms.
It said practices like triple talaq are against the principles of equality and dignity enshrined in the Constitution and there is no reason that women in India should be denied their constitutional rights. The sanctity of triple talaq is completely misplaced in a secular country and is unfair, discriminatory and unreasonable.
Reacting to the High Court’s observation, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Kamal Faruqi said that ‘it is just an observation by the court, not the decision.’
Faruqui said, “Constitution gives me right to follow my religion. It’s observation by court, not decision.”
He also said, “Islam is one of most progressive religions about women’s rights. Talaq is part of Sharia law, no interference should be there.”
Rashid Alvi of the Congress said, “This view of the Allahabad HC won’t stand in the Supreme Court. I don’t agree with what the Allahabad HC has to say.”
“No one is above the constitution and nobody should interfere in the practises of any community,” he told.