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New Divorce Law Can Replace Triple Talaq, Center Tells Supreme Court
16 May 2017, 10:17 | Kara Nash
We will frame law on Muslim marriage if triple talaq declared illegal: Centre to SC
A day after the Centre said that it would introduce a "law" to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if the Supreme Court scrapped triple talaq, the Congress refrained from commenting over the "sensitive issue" while expressing confidence over apex court's "ultimate" decision.
The Centre yesterday assured the apex court that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if Triple Talaq was upheld as invalid.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar is hearing a batch of petitions against the practice of Triple Talaq among Muslims.
At the outset, Chief Justice Khehar told Mr. Rohatgi that the court was only confined to the issue of triple talaq and was not going into the issues of polygamy and nikah halala due to paucity of time.
Previous governments did not bring law on triple talaq because the issue is dealing sensitively with minorities, the government told the Supreme Court today.
On Friday, lawyer Farha Faiz, who is opposing Triple Talaq in the SC, alleged that Muslim clerics were running a parallel judicial system like the trial courts and the high courts and the clerics were forcing Muslims not to go to the courts.
Rohatgi highlighted that the Hindu practice of sati -the ostensibly voluntary but often forced burning of widows on their husbands' pyres - was abolished by law in the 19th century, and that Hindus could not cite this to claim their religious rights had been violated.
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When the bench sought a clarification, the AG said, "If all three forms of talaq are struck down, then we will not leave a vacuum".
The bench insisted that the government has to prove that this practice of triple talaq was not essential to Islam and only then can it delve further into other aspects.
Noting that the Constitutions protects personal laws and all patriarchal societies are discriminatory, Sibal said that all laws that applies to Hindus, Muslims, and other religions must be tested on the grounds of discrimination.
The Centre, on May 11, told the apex court that it opposes the triple talaq practice and wants to fight for women equality and gender justice.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that AIMPLB should apologise for justifying triple talaq by saying that men have greater strength to control their emotions. "All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two- judge bench", he added. "We will keep them pending for future".
The full on debates and discussions came to light when a petitioner, Shayara Banu, challenged the Muslim personal law over instantaneous application of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat), polygamy and nikah-halala.
"The way you argue, it would mean that religion and religious practices can be thrown to the wind", the bench said.
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