The Allahabad High Court on Thursday said that the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is unconstitutional and it violates the rights of women. The high court said that no personal law board is above the Constitution. It said, “Triple talaq is unconstitutional, it violates the rights of Muslim women. No personal law board is above the Constitution.”
The high court’s order deals with the plea by a Muslim man and his second wife seeking protection against police action. The court didn’t pronounce on legality of triple talaq saying that the Supreme Court is seized of matter but observed that the practice of triple talaq is cruel and demeaning. However, the court left the issues of divorce to the first wife through triple talaq as well as second marriage open andn simply dismissed the man’s plea of protection.
Several political parties reacted to the High Court’s say, with both the BJP and the Congress hailing the court’s observation. Muslim Law board, AIMPLB, said that its legal committee will study the verdict and observation after which it will file its appeal against the said verdict. Appreciating the court’s say, social activist Zakiya Soman said, “I welcome the verdict of Allahabad HC, its true that triple talaq is not constitutional and it must be abolished.”
The triple talaq refers to pronouncement of the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one go by Muslim men to divorce their wives.
Earlier this week, Islamic organisation Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind told the Supreme Court there is no scope for interference with the Muslim Personal Law in which triple talaq is deeply rooted. In the argument that it forwarded, the Jamiat stated that the Muslim Personal Law has an element of certainty and is not local or regional in operation.
“There is no scope for interference with the Muslim Personal Law, which is based on primarily the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, explained and applied by various scholars of great antiquity and authority after thorough research,” it said. “The protection of peculiarities in personal laws is necessary for securing freedom of religion and bringing uniformity by removing those peculiarities shall be enforcement of Uniform Civil Code by the judicial process, which shall be against the constitutional bar,” it said.
In November, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) decided to form a women’s wing to discuss the issues of talaq, among several others. AIMPLB passed a resolution in favour of triple talaq. The resolution passed at the AIMPLB’s three-day convention stated that the government was infringing into the personal laws of Muslims.