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Kerala Muslim group petitions SC: Triple talaq ordinance violates law, needs to be struck down

The plea was filed by Kerala-based Muslim organisation Samastha Kerala Jamiat Ulema, which contended that the ordinance is “also unconstitutional for failing to satisfy the mandatory requirements of Article 123 of the Constitution”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: September 26, 2018 7:47:03 am
Supreme Court, Lokpal, search committee members, India news, Indian Express news In a landmark 3-2 verdict in August 2017, a five-judge Constitution Bench set aside the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq. (File)

A Muslim group named “Samastha Kerala Jamiat Ulema” has approached the Supreme Court seeking stay on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018, which makes pronouncing instant triple talaq a punishable offence.

The petitioner, which claims to be “a religious organisation of Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics in Kerala”, said the ordinance notified on September 19 “is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and accordingly, requires to be struck down”.

READ | Triple talaq Ordinance passed: What are the provisions?

It contended that the ordinance is “also unconstitutional for failing to satisfy the mandatory requirements of Article 123 of the Constitution”. The petition pointed out that Article 123 enables promulgation of ordinances only in instances requiring “immediate action”: “The absence of emergent reasons negates any invocation of the provision.”

It said that the ordinance had introduced penal legislation, specific to a class of people based on religious identity and that “it is causative of grave public mischief, which, if unchecked, may lead to polarisation and disharmony in society”.

READ | Instant triple talaq to be a crime now as Union Cabinet approves Ordinance

The Samastha said triple talaq is a practice which dates back to about 1400 years and was legally recognised and enforced until the majority judgment of the Supreme Court last year in the Shayara Bano case. The petitioners also stated that it is doubtful if the government had any idea of the statistical data on triple talaq before or after the judgment in the Shayara Bano case. “The declaration in the ordinance that the practice continues ‘unabated’ is entirely whimsical,” it stated.

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