Religions

Government promises legislation if Supreme Court strikes down triple talaq

May 18, 2017 05:19 AM

New Delhi: The Centre promised to enact a divorce law for Muslim men if the Supreme Court, as the “guardian of the Constitution”, strikes down all three forms of triple talaq unilaterally pronounced by a Muslim man on his wife.

“Your job is not to interpret the Koran. You are not an ecclesiastical court to check whether a practice is essential to Islam or not,” Mr. Rohatgi said.

The statement came during the hearing on Monday when one of the judges on the Constitution Bench, Justice U.U. Lalit, asked Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi: “So if we accept that giving unfettered rights to a husband is bad and we strike down triple talaq, then where will Muslim men go for divorce?”

“If Your Lordships strike down all three forms of talaq, I [the Centre] will bring a law,” Mr. Rohatgi replied. Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, cut in, observing that the Supreme Court is not only the “guardian of the Constitution but also the guardian of the Minority Act.”

 

Mr. Rohatgi objected to the court’s line of thinking, and said the Bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Nariman and S. Abdul Nazeer, was approaching triple talaq from the wrong end. “Your job is not to interpret the Koran. You are not an ecclesiastical court to check whether a practice is essential to Islam or not,” Mr. Rohatgi said.He insisted that the government should first address the issue whether triple talaq is “essential to religion or not.” This triggered an argument between the Bench and the Centre.

“Let’s say, tomorrow you declare that triple talaq is not an essential part of religion. So what? Nothing. The point is you have to go a step further and strike down triple talaq. Declare it illegal. You have to first decide whether this practice is against constitutional morality or not,” he submitted.v

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