THE SUPREME Court on Tuesday said it would decide issues pertaining to only the legal aspects of the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims but would not be debating the Uniform Civil Code.
“We will not be debating Uniform Civil Code,” said a bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, while rejecting an attempt by a lawyer to raise the issue. “We are not interested in facts, only in the propositions of law,” he said.
“This could be a human rights issue… you (lawyers for parties) sit together and finalise the issues to be deliberated upon by us. We are listing it day after tomorrow for deciding the issues,” added the bench also comprising Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud.
The bench observed that the question whether divorce under Muslim Personal Law needs to be supervised by either courts or by a court-supervised institutional arbitration falls under the legislative domain.
It asked the the lawyers to file small synopsis of cases pertaining to alleged victims of triple talaq and also submit issues to be thrashed out in accordance with the legal provisions and the Constitution.
The Centre had earlier opposed 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 referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, however, had rubbished the stand taken by the government that the apex court should re-look these practices as they are violative of fundamental rights like gender equality and the ethos of secularism, a key part of the basic structure of the Constitution.