New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Muslim practice of ‘triple talaq’ will be heard by a constitution bench from 11 May.
A bench headed by chief justice J.S. Khehar said a special hearing will be held during the court’s summer vacation.
The constitution bench will determine if the practice of triple talaq, which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by saying the word ‘talaq’ (divorce) three times, is constitutionally valid, or illegal and unconstitutional. It will also hear arguments on the validity of polygamy and nikah halala, under which a woman wishing to wed a man from whom she is divorced must first marry someone else.
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Constitutionally, Muslims and other minority religions are allowed to regulate matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance through their own civil codes.
Initially, the apex court agreed to examine the issue when Shayara Bano, a Muslim woman, moved the court against triple talaq. Subsequently, a batch of pleas was filed.
On 27 March, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), in an affidavit, said the petitions challenging triple talaq are not maintainable as the issues fall outside the realm of the judiciary.
In an earlier hearing, the centre submitted a list of questions the court must consider—whether such practices can be protected under the fundamental right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion and the freedom of conscience. The court on its own accord added the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husband.