On the fourth day of Supreme Court’s deliberations on triple talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board told the apex court that the practice is a matter of faith. Representing AIMPLB, former union law minister and counsel Kapil Sibal said, “Triple talaq is there since 637. Who are we to say that this is un-Islamic. Muslims are practicing it for last 1,400 years.” Sibal further said court should not intervene in matters of faith. “Triple talaq is not a matter of equity and good conscience. It is a matter of faith? Why should the court intervene?” he said. According to news agency ANI, when Justice Rohinton Nariman asked Sibal whether the court should hear the matter, he replied in the negative.
Sibal also equated triple talaq with the belief among Hindus that Lord Rama was born at Ayodhya. “If I have faith that Lord Rama was born at Ayodhya, then it’s a matter of faith and there is no question of constitutional morality,” he said. Justice Kurian Joseph questioned AIMPLB regarding the practice of e-divorces. “Are e-divorces also taking place?,” Joseph asked to which Sibal replied, “Divorces are happening even on WhatsApp.”
The Centre on Monday had criticised the practice of instant triple talaq as “extra-judicious” and “discriminatory” and said it will come up with a law to deal with the situation that arises in case the court decides to strike down the practice as unconstitutional. The “The Centre will step in,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said in front of the five-judge Constitution bench. “The practice of triple talaq is discriminatory in three ways. It puts Muslim women in a disadvantageous position within the community, vis-a-vis women of the other community and also at the international level… it puts the (Muslim) women in a subservient position when compared to women of other community,” he added.
A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, is hearing arguments on the constitutional validity of the practice since Thursday. The Supreme Court said last week that it would first examine whether the Islamic divorce practice “is fundamental to religion” and whether it falls in the category of enforceable fundamental rights.
(With inputs from PTI)