The Delhi High Court on Monday said it will continue to hear on October 18 a plea challenging the new law criminalising the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar heard brief arguments by the petitioner and then listed the matter for further hearing on October 18.
The court made it clear that it was not issuing a notice in the matter. The plea challenging the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, was filed by a lawyer, Shahid Ali, early this month. It has contended that since triple talaq has been declared void, its practice cannot be construed as a criminal offence or even as a simple or a civil wrong. Referring to the provisions of the law, which makes pronouncement of triple talaq a non-bailable offence punishable with three years imprisonment, the plea said it closes all possibilities for a compromise between a man and his wife. The petitioner has alleged that the intentions of the central government are “mala fide and ultra vires” of the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court judgement which declared instant and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.
The petition has claimed that there could be a misuse of criminalisation of triple talaq as the legislation does not provide for a mechanism to ascertain the truthfulness of the allegations of such pronouncement. It has also said that criminalising triple talaq violates the principles of natural justice and the fundamental rights of citizens.