Triple talaq case: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), on May 18 informed the Supreme Court that it would soon allow a provision that allows women to say to ‘triple talaq’ in their nikahnama (marriage contract). The bench that includes Justice Kurien Joseph, U U Lalit, R F Nariman and Abdul Nazeer reserved its verdict after concluding its hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the practice of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala, according to an Indian Express report.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal who appeared for the AIMPLB, told the bench of five judges, “We also don’t want the practice to go on. We had a meeting yesterday. It will be part of the nikahnama. We will send an advisory to all ‘qazis’ stating that they should avoid instant triple talaq.”
Just a day ago, the court had asked the AIMPLB the possibility to include such a provision in the nikahnama. “Can it be made possible to give an option to a wife that she can say that she was agreeable to or not agreeable to it (triple talaq)? Is it possible to pass a resolution to all ‘qazis’ to include this condition in ‘nikahnama’? Give an option to wife to say ‘no’ to triple talaq,” Indian Express quoted the bench as asking.
Later reacting to Sibal’s submission on Thursday, Justice Joseph asked, “why not bring it on record.” Replying to which Sibal said yes ‘we are doing it’.
Further explaining the AIMPLB’s stand outside the court, Yusuf Muchhala the senior counsel and Board member, said, “At the time of marriage, the religious functionary will inform the bride-to-be that she has the right to stipulate a condition in the nikahnama stating that her husband-to-be shall not pronounce triple talaq in one sitting.”
Replying to the timeline of implementation of the same, Muchhala said, “We have not committed any time limit, but we shall do it.”
Senior counsel Amit Singh Chadha, appearing for petitioner Shayara Bano, pointed out in front the bench that ‘it will not solve our problems as married women will still have to go to court if in case talaq is pronounced.’
Recalling AIMPLB’s earlier statement that triple talaq is sinful, Justice Joseph asked, “you profess it to be sinful, then how can it enjoy the protection of the Koran?”
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“Many sinful things happen in the world. Your lordships are not here to decide what are the sinful things… Parliament can interfere, it can make a law,” replied Sibal. Apparently stating the contention that triple talaq is not sanctioned by the Koran, Sibal said, “you cannot go to the Koran and decide what Islam is. Islam is Koran, Hadith, Qiyas (analogy) and Hijma (consensus).”
Sibal insisted that triple talaq is a part of personal laws of the community and gets protection from the court’s scrutiny. “The only permissible Constitutional route under Article 25 is for the Legislature to make a law and then its validity will be tested in court,” he added.
However, the Central government has termed triple talaq and all its forms as unconstitutional and has demanded that it must be struck down.