Marriage of Muslim woman during iddat not void: Court

Chief Justice J S Khehar will preside over the bench which would also comprise Justices Kurian Joseph R F Nariman U U Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer. DH file

Day 3 – Triple Talaq hearing in Supreme Court

The practice of triple talaq enables Muslim men to get an instant divorce by uttering the word "talaq" or divorce thrice and is deemed to be sanctioned by the Shariat or Muslim personal laws, which govern their marriage and divorce in the country.

On the second day of the hearing last Friday, senior Congress pioneer Salman Khurshid, who is the amicus curiae in the matter, said under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court that the dubious Islamic separation framework can't be legitimised at all. Jethmalani argued that any law that is enforceable by courts is covered by Article 13, and consequently, is covered by Articles 14 and 15.

The multi-faith bench comprising Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Nariman, Uday Lalit and Abdul Nazeer is examining the legality of triple talaq after a clutch of petitions for a ban on the practice was filed.

He said practices of marriage and divorce have been codified as "personal law" under Section 2 of the 1937 Act. But even when it expires, making the divorce official, the couple can remarry, unless he declares it again, known as "triple talaq".

Mr Rohatgi maintained that these practices were not protected under the right to religion guaranteed under Article 25 (1) of the Constitution.

The state Health Minister said that the BJP government supports the rights of Muslim women.

Rohatgi announced this after the court asked him what the remedies are for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.

On the second day of the hearing last Friday, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who is the amicus curiae in the matter, said before the apex court that the controversial Islamic divorce system can not be justified whatsoever. However, the SC said the ball was in the Centre's court. "The practice of triple talaq is discriminatory in three ways".

"One half of a community in the country has to suffer inequality from their male counterpart".

At the outset of the hearing, the attorney general urged the court to examine not only the validity of triple talaq, but also that of the Nikah Halal and polygamy.

- Supreme Court says theocratic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are moving towards reforms, a secular country like India is still debating triple talaq. However, the apex court said it was keeping these issues open for adjudication in future.

A five-judge bench of the apex court further observed that it would not hear polygamy issue along with the triple talaq case.

Earlier, the matter had already been opposed by the centre on may 11 in which he told the apex court that it opposes the triple talaq practice and want to fight for women equality and gender justice.

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