Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi today termed the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on its advisory on triple talaq a “mere eyewash” and said it was an attempt to gain “legal sanctity among the community”. The Attorney General also questioned the locus of the AIMPLB to issue any advisory against the practice of triple talaq and said it was a “desperate attempt” on its part to divert the attention of the apex court, which has already reserved its verdict on the issue.
In an affidavit filed in the apex court yesterday, the AIMPLB had said that those who resort to triple talaq will face “social boycott” and an advisory will be issued to the ‘Qazis’ that they should tell the grooms that they will not resort to such a form of divorce. Rohatgi said the Muslim body, which has admitted in the top court that the practice of triple talaq was “not good”, should have enlightened the five-judge constitution bench to declare triple talaq invalid.
“I think this affidavit of AIMPLB is an eyewash. The board has no legal sanctity by itself. It is unclear as to how many people they speak for. They do not have any persuasive authority,” Rohatgi, who assisted the apex court in the triple talaq matter, told PTI. The Attorney General said it is not clear as to how many Qazis will abide by, agree and understand the advisory issued by the personal law board.
“It is also unclear as to how many Qazis will inform the bridegroom at the time of Nikah not to resort to triple talaq. There is no mechanism to oversee whether the Qazis have advised the bridegroom not to resort to triple talaq and whether the grooms would actually follow the advisory,” he said.
The Attorney General said that given the illiteracy rate and the dominant position of males in the community, it is difficult to comprehend as to “how many brides would come out to say what they actually want to say.” “Therefore the whole thing is a desperate attempt to divert the attention of the court. Further if the AIMPLB says that the practice is not good, then they should have enlightened the court to declare triple talaq as invalid,” Rohatgi said.
He said “in my humble view, the court should not give any credence to such an affidavit of the board”. Rohatgi also said “it is a desperate attempt made by the AIMPLB to get some kind of legitimacy which it does not have”.