New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Tuesday defended the practice of triple talaq before the Supreme Court.
“Triple talaq is a 1,400-year-old practice. (Questions of) constitutional morality and equity cannot arise when a matter of faith is concerned,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the AIMPLB, argued in court.
Sibal said the Muslim community itself does not agree with the practice of instant triple talaq (as opposed to pronouncing talaq in three separate events within a 99-day period).
“The reform has to come from within the community, (it) cannot be forced by the courts,” he said.
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A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, and justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton F. Nariman, U.U. Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Muslim practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy under Muslim personal law. Nikah halala requires a female divorcee to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then get a divorce to remarry her previous husband.
The apex court on Monday clarified that it will only examine the triple talaq practice, under which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” thrice, and keep the remaining issues open.
The government had asked the court to examine all the issues and said it would bring in a new law to regulate marriage divorce among Muslims if all forms of triple talaq are declared unconstitutional.
Constitutionally, Muslims and other minority religions are allowed to regulate matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance through their own civil codes.
The case will be heard next on Wednesday.