Amidst growing voices against the triple talaq, a five-judge bench of Supreme Court has been set up to decide the Constitutional validity of the practice, which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by simply pronouncing talaq thrice. On March 30, SC had said the practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy were “very important” issues and involved “sentiments”. Muslim organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have, however, opposed SC intervention in the matter, saying these practices stemmed from Holy Quran and were not justiciable. While referring the matter to a larger bench, the top court had said earlier that “sentiments” were involved in the case and a detailed hearing was required.
Here are a few things you should know about the mandate of the five-judge bench of Supreme Court hearing triple talaq pleas — what it would do and what it won’t:
- The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar would examine whether triple talaq is part of an “enforceable” Fundamental Right to practice religion by Muslims. Other judges on the bench are Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer.
- The bench has confined its mandate to deliberate on the pleas concerning triple talaq only and may not take up the issue of polygamy.
- The five-judge bench is made up of judges from five religious communities — Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.
- It is hearing seven petitions, including five separate writ petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the practice of triple talaq prevalent in the community.
- According to the petitions, the practice of triple talaq is unconstitutional.
- The top court has clarified that each side would get two days each for putting their arguments before it on the two questions framed by the bench. Each side would also get one day each for rebuttal.
- The apex court would stop any counsel if s/he repeats the arguments. “Each side can argue whatever they want but there should
not be any repetition. They will only focus on the validity of triple talaq,” the bench said.
- The seven petitions had also challenged the practice of ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims.
- The SC’s five-judge bench took the triple talaq matter on its own as a petition titled “Muslim Women’s quest for equality”. The top court took suo motu took cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination when they are divorced or husbands marry to someone else.
- The apex court has decided to hear the triple talaq matter during the summer vacation and it is likely to sit on Saturdays and Sundays for an expeditious decision on the sensitive issue.
(With PTI inputs)