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Ram born in Ayodhya issue of faith, so is triple talaq: Muslim Board

The Supreme Court is hearing seven petitions including five filed by Muslim women challenging the practise of polygamy, nikah halala and triple talaq in the community.

Written by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi | Updated: May 17, 2017 8:55 am
 triple talaq, muslim talaq, muslim divorce, ram temple, reason of talaq, triple talaq causes, indian express news The essential purpose of the said Act of 1937 was to ensure that all those customs and practice which were contrary to Islam but being followed by those who embraced Islam should be discontinued and declared to be contrary to Islam. (Representational image)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Tuesday invoked Lord Ram to defend the practice of triple talaq in the Supreme Court, saying both were matters of faith and so courts should stay away.

“That Ram was born in Ayodhya is a matter of faith, not Constitutional morality. Same is the case (with triple talaq)…The Constitution of India recognises ‘personal law’ of all religious denominations being communities and protects their faith by making them immune from challenge under Part III of the Constitution,” Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Board, told a five-judge Constitution Bench which is hearing a batch of pleas challenging the controversial practice.

The court is hearing seven petitions including five filed by Muslim women challenging the practise of polygamy, nikah halala and triple talaq in the community. Other members on the bench are Justices Kurien Joseph, U U Lalit, R F Nariman and Abdul Nazeer.

Sibal’s contentions are bound to set off a controversy with pro-temple groups who will interpret this as an admission of their claim that Ram’s birth in Ayodhya is beyond legal purview.

The petitioners had contended that marriage, succession and divorce had been taken out of the purview of personal law and made statutory rights by a Privy Council judgment of 1932 and subsequently by The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application of 1937 and hence it was open to the court to examine its validity under Article 13 of the Constitution. Article 13 says that any law which “immediately before” the coming into force of the Constitution will be void if it violates the provisions of the Constitution.

Sibal, however, opposed this conclusion saying the purpose of the 1937 Act was not to codify Muslim personal law. Under the then Hindu law, women did not have the right to inherit property and the Act was brought to empower them to have the right, he said.

“The essential purpose of the said Act of 1937 was to ensure that all those customs and practice which were contrary to Islam but being followed by those who embraced Islam should be discontinued and declared to be contrary to Islam. The Act of 1937 is neither an attempt to codify the ‘personal law’ of Muslims in India nor does it represent a statutory enactment of ‘personal laws’ of Muslims in India,” Sibal said.

Read | Triple talaq exception rather than rule: Survey

Stressing the importance of personal law, he said “personal law is not something decided by the individual. It is through the interaction of the individual, family and community for many years that personal law evolves…Even the British did not interfere with personal laws…Will Your Lordships decide the faith of 160 million people or is it the responsibility of the legislature? Personal laws of Muslims have evolved through 1400 years of practice. Are we to say now its un-Islamic? The Court, in exercise of its powers under the Constitution, should not, in matters of faith, seek to interpret the manner in which the community should understand its own faith.”

Sibal warned that the “consequences” of the court interfering in personal laws “will be unimaginable”.

“The point is once you start interfering in it, where do you go?..Consequences of this are enormous…We can’t even imagine the consequences,” Sibal added.

Interestingly, Sibal agreed with fellow AIMPLB counsel Yusuf Muchhala’s contention that instant triple talaq was “undesirable.” Muchhala told the court “it is an undesirable form of divorce. We are trying to educate people. We are working on it and we are advising people not to resort to the practice.”

Sibal added to this saying, “We are not saying it is permanent or immutable. We are aware of the need to change. But we will do it in our own way. It is not for someone else to tell (us) what it is.”

He also repeatedly referred to what he said was the discrimination in Hindu law to buttress his claims. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 banned the practice of dowry but allowed parents to give gifts to daughters and thus this practice is continuing, he said. Adding: “in case of Hindu law, you protect all customs. In case of Muslim law, you will say it violates provisions of the Constitution.”

Justice Kurien Joseph sought to know what was the need for messengers to improvise on it if the Koran had already laid down the procedure for divorce. “Talaq is separation, which is conceived and well explained in the Koran. Then why go for anything else..What was the need for the messenger to lay down something when it is actually given in Koran,” Joseph sought to know.

Read | Relatives to blame for talaq: Survey

Sibal replied that he did not know how to answer this to which Justice Kurien said he was only trying to understand whether the (triple talaq) provision was added to meet the need of the hour — a need which may be non-existent now.

Sibal also tried to draw an analogy with cow slaughter only to be told that it was a bad example.

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  1. Joshyramamurthy Murthy
    May 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm
    Be careful about Muslims, they are green snakes in our gardens See their hate against India and Hindus in Kashmir What's happening in Muslim majority districts of am Kerala and up We know they are growing exponential We should first control their growth , then making some excuse genocide them, make few remaining after genocide ghar wapsi, mean time destroy all mosque madrasa etc.
    1. I
      indian man
      May 17, 2017 at 8:48 pm
      Sir, you forgot that India is a secular country. Every religion has equal right. Your own people will scold you if you call India as Hindu stan.
      1. S
        May 18, 2017 at 8:44 am
        You are Good Indian. Saivam, Vainavanam, Ganapathiyam, Kaumaram, Saktham and Souram (All six religions are called in one name Zindhoos [as per Englishman identification} or Hindus), Jainism, Skhism and Buddhism religions are born in India. One Nation, One Religion and One Language are suitable for our country. If it will happen, it is equal to genocide.
    2. I
      indian man
      May 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm
      I think Hindu also start wearing burkas. India has largest Muslim poplation, then why not call India Muslim stan.
      1. C
        Champa Bai
        May 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm
        is gaan$#$# sibal ko lawyer ki degree kaisay mili........kya comparison kar raha hai chu$ $#$ ......pls explain this to me .......if this practice is banned in more than 25 Islamic countries.....u mean to say they are wrong........they are all unIslamic?????And India which is not even an Islamic country...this practice should continue????kya bhosadc&^ ^ argument hai..........sati was banned, dowry was banned, child marriage was banned....u mean to say those were wrong decisions by courts?????? should these practices be again activated by Hindus?????? BTW the issue was raised in SC by Muslim women only??????if this was a right practice......why did they have to approach court???????........ mon sense hai nahin aur ban e lawyers
        1. T
          T Husain
          May 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm
          A simple question to you, Champa Bai, are Indians at large and you particularly, very much concerned with the welfare of the Muslim women or using this Triple Talaq stupidity as a tool and something to do politics with? If your leadership were honest and cared about Muslim welfare, they would not have used them as vote bank and treated them as equal citizens of the country by introducing secular and uniform civil code ignoring religion, caste and creed long ago.
        2. T
          T Husain
          May 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm
          NOT TRIPLE TALAQ but SINGLE TALAQ should be enough to annul a marriage. What use a marriage has between a couple when mutual love and affection don't exist? Why waste time and keep two people by name of religious law or any other pretext? Nevertheless, a Talaq or divorce MUST be processed through a court of law to make it valid. Hindus, Christians and every individuals should follow this simple rule. What India is doing here is NOTHING but politics with Muslim women's life. Triple Talaq is illegal even in Islamic stan, why it exits in secular India? To play circus? Why India didn't introduce uniform civil law after independence? Do Indian majority population care so much about their Muslim population?
          1. H
            Human Being
            May 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm
            When it comes to civil rights inferred by a civil union or "marriage", they want it all, but when it comes to divorce, it is a matter of faith. Come on, its 2017, give up your stupid quibbles and concentrate on advancing the country and science.
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