New Delhi: The newly-minted law which criminalises the practice of instant ‘triple talaq’, making it a punishable offence, has been challenged in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

On Friday, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind signed on the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, making it into law, a Muslim relegious organisation —Samastha Kerela Jamiathul Ulema—moved the apex court against the legislation, claiming it violates the fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution.

On the same day, advocate Shahid Ali challenged the law in Delhi High Court, calling it unconstitutional.

The Bill replaced the triple talaq ordinance formulated in 2018, and makes the declaration of triple talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years imprisonment with a fine. An accused can be arrested without a warrant.

The relegious organisation has contended that the Act allows for penal actions against a specific class of persons based on their religion.

The petition also said that following the Shayara Bano case, the utterance of the word has been rendered useless, and questioned the logic behind the penal action against husband for the utterance of a meaningless word.

This Act action may lead to polarization and disharmony in society, the plea said, seeking direction to strike down the law while asking for a stay on its enforcement.

The petitioner also said the bill violates fundamental rights under Article 14, 15 and 21 of the constitution of India.

The plea filed in the Delhi High Court said the Act was not only against the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution but also against the principle of natural justice and directive principles of state policy.

The petition filed in the high court questioned the absence of mechanism in place to test the veracity of complaints for pronouncing the word 'talaq' thrice.

The cases are most likely to be mentioned next week in the both the courts.

When the Bill was tabled in Parliament, leaders of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had said the it was partisan, unconstitutional and arbitrary, while accusing the government of getting it passed through a “managed majority."

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