Centre opposes triple talaq, polygamy among Muslims in Supreme Court

The Centre in its 29-page affidavit said "gender equality and the dignity of the women are non-negotiable, overarching constitutional value and can brook no compromise.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: October 13, 2016 5:32 pm
triple talaq, triple talaq in india, islamic divorce, muslim divorce, muslim women in india, divorce in islam, BJP, supreme court, Central government, SC, apex court, SC, Centre on triple talaq, India news, indian express news The Centre on Friday opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims. (Source: Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

For the first time in India’s constitutional history, the Centre on Friday opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.

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“It is submitted that the issue of validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality,” the affidavit filed by Mukulita Vijayawargiya, Additional Secretary in the Ministry, said.

Responding to a batch of petitions including the one filed by Shayaro Bano challenging the validity of such practices among Muslims, the Centre first dealt with the right of gender equality under the Constitution.

“The fundamental question for determination by this court is whether, in a secular democracy, religion can be a reason to deny equal status and dignity available to women under the Constitution of India,” it said.

Referring to constitutional principles, it said that “any practice by which women are left ‘socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable’ or subject to the whims and caprice of men-folk is incompatible with the letter and spirit of Article 14 and 15 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution”.

Linking the issue with the Right to Life and Personal Liberty, the Centre in its 29-page affidavit said “gender equality and the dignity of the women are non-negotiable, overarching constitutional value and can brook no compromise.

“These Rights are necessary in letter and in spirit not only to realise the aspirations of every individual woman who is an equal citizen of this country but also for the larger well-being of the society and progress of the nation, one half of which is made up by women”.

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  1. S
    Oct 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm
    Thank you for this info, but what is the meaning of "recognition" without "registration" ? "Registration" of a marriage can be done in a civil court , under a common law as in India. What prevented the legislature from coming up with a civil law unilaterally including divorce ? Are Hindus of Pak consulted on other laws ? Can you deny that Hindu children are denied education and employment opportunities because they cannot get birth certificates as their parents marriages are not "recognized" ? Can you feny that Hindu married ladies were kidnapped, forcibly converted and married off to Muslims and the police/courts refused to provide justice because the Hindu marriage was not" recognized" ?
    1. S
      Sajed Syed
      Oct 7, 2016 at 3:26 pm
      Wake up and smell the fresh air. Many progressive Muslim countries DO NOT ALLOW TRIPLE TALAQ. It is selfish clerics who want to exploit and enjoy 'Freebies' by subjugating women folk to medieval practices. This is 21st century. Stop this nonsense of Muslim vs Non-Muslim. We are as proud citizens of India as is any non-Muslim. The government and our women folks who have challenged the supremacy (backwardness) of men-and-their-clerics need full support of every well meaning Muslim. I support it and so does all my family members, friends in and around the globe.
      1. S
        Sajed Syed
        Oct 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm
        While I am for liberating Muslims from Medieval thinking and imposition by Saudi Arabian version of Islam, there is no need to call names. This kind of atude forces the gullible to rush back to cocoons (shelters run by clerics for their livelihood and political, social and economic exploitation). I follow Dharma- my father was the last person to have milk of a Muslim mother, we moved on and reverted to Dharma (NOT Religion) and are proud of our decision (grateful to g parents for their vision and foresight), but cannot deny our roots. This is what we as a big family of aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends support, settled across the globe and of course in India and stan. Long live humanity without prejudices and bigotry.
        1. A
          Oct 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm
          Many of the so-called Hindu "gods" have multiple wives. One "god" is said to have had a complete "harem," and thousands of wives.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Heck, they even idolise a family in which a woman is supposed to have had 5 husbands.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Man, your beliefs are all twisted up.
          1. G
            Ghulam Muhammed
            Oct 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm
            In a secular state, no state authority has a locus stand-ii to interfere with the Consutional Right of Freedom of Religion. Supreme Court cannot interpret Quran and Hadith and come out with edicts to enforce secular laws on Islam.
            1. B
              Oct 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm
              first of all the (Muslim)women must get modern educations and then they will be able to decide their own destiny by their own.
              1. R
                Oct 7, 2016 at 2:53 pm
                It is not that Hindu marriages were not recognised; they were not registered. The reason for that is Hindus of Pak did not want divorce as part of their law although Pak govt was will willing to copy Indian law verbatim. As per Pak Hindus, who think their Hinduism is more pure than Indian, divorce is anathema to Hindu religion and marriage lasts for seven rebirths. Only recently Hindus have agreed to provision of divorce and now registration is possible.
                1. M
                  Manu USA
                  Oct 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm
                  Triple talaq is inhuman. The women loses dignity, when anytime husband can say it. I will ume it correctly interpretad, if women can do same.lt;br/gt;It's not, so should be abolished in 21st century. lt;br/gt;Same way, if a man can keep 4 wives, then women should also be keep 4 husband's. Why it's not? Does Allah distinguish between genders? He does not, so everyone be equal. India should have UCC.
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