New Delhi:The government told the Supreme Court on Monday that it will bring in a new law to regulate and marriage divorce among Muslims if the practice of triple talaq is declared unconstitutional.
The government’s top law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, also asked the court to examine other aspects of Muslim personal law including nikah halala and polygamy.
The apex court, however, 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. Nikah halala requires a female divorcee to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then get a divorce to remarry her previous husband.
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“It may not be possible to deal with all the three issues in the limited time we have. We will keep them pending for future," a five-judge constitution bench hearing the matter said.
The 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 triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy under Muslim personal law.
Constitutionally, Muslims and other minority religions are allowed to regulate matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance through their own civil codes.
On Monday, the third day of the hearing, the court asked the government to prove that triple talaq is not an essential religious practice of Islam. Rohatgi replied that the court must test triple talaq only against the constitution.
“Even Islamic theocratic states have moved towards reforming personal laws," Rohatgi said, citing the examples of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The case will be heard next on Tuesday.