New Delhi:Days after the Union Cabinet approved the triple talaq ordinance to make the practice illegal, Samastha Kerala Jamaithul Ulema, a Kerala based religious organisation of Sunni Muslim scholars moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging the same.
Calling the ordinance arbitrary, the plea seeks for it to be struck down as it violates Articles 14 (right to equality), 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of caste, religion, race, sex) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.
The ordinance, which is yet to get the President’s approval, makes instant triple talaq illegal. It includes the provision of a jail term of three years for the husband. It also includes the amendments made by the government in a cabinet meeting last month that made a provision for the magistrate to grant the husband bail after a hearing with wife.
On 22 August, in a 3-2 majority verdict, the top court struck down the age-old practice under which a Muslim man could divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq" thrice.
The 395-page ruling held the practice to be “violative of the fundamental right under Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution of India". The verdict added that the provisions of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, insofar as they seek to recognize and enforce triple talaq, must be struck down as being void.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December last year and has been pending in the Upper House as opposition parties wanted it to be sent to a select committee for further discussion.
There were 430 incidents of instant triple talaq from January 2017 to 13 September 2018. Of these, 220 were before the Supreme Court judgement. Instances of instant triple talaq have continued unabated despite the Supreme Court striking it down.