Indian Court Continues Hearing Into Controversial Islamic Divorce Law

Women are not allowed to use the method and are often left homeless and with no money- leading to many appealing to overturn it at the Supreme Court

In fact, Sibal compared triple talaq to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, saying that just like many Hindus consider Ayodhya to be the birthplace of Ram, it's a matter of faith not subject to constitutional morality because it can not be verified.

The Supreme Court is hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the controversial Islamic divorce practice that allows a man to end the marriage by uttering the world talaq (I divorce you) thrice in a succession.

Drawing a parallel, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, also appearing for AIMPLB, said that as some people believe that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and it was a matter of faith and could not be adjudicated, similarly Muslim personal law too was a matter of faith and the court should be shy from stepping in.

However, the court, citing the limited time that is available, said that as of now, it would focus on the validity of triple talaq, leaving the other two issues for the future.

Terming triple talaq as part of Muslim belief and faith that has existed for past 1,400 years, Sibal said issues of faith can not be examined from the standpoint of Constitutional morality as there is grave danger in interpreting the faith what 160 million people in the country have accepted as part of their faith over the centuries.

Prior in the hearing today, the Supreme Court declined to hear all the three instances of Polygamy, Nikah and Halala without a moment's delay, saying it will concentrate on one matter at any given moment.

The apex court further observed that it would not hear polygamy issue along with the Triple Talaq case.

The court has said that it would only look into the triple talaq issue for now.

Rohatgi's submission came when the court asked him what are the remedies for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down. The court has also given three days to those defending it.

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He said even if triple talaq is considered as an essential part of religion and falls under Article 25, the practice still has to be constitutionally moral.

Men can declare talaq - or divorce - at any point in a marriage and do not need approval form the court. The practice is a matter of trust so no question arises of legitimate ethics and equity.

When asked by the five-judge Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar, Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohington F Nariman, UU Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer that why triple talaq has been abolished by other Islamic countries, Sibal replied, "These practices have nothing to do with equity or good conscience".

"If triple talaq is struck down and Parliament refuses to pass a law, then what will happen".

He also drew an analogy between Triple Talaq and the Hindu belief that the god Ram was born in Ayodhya. Thus, the practice of giving dowry during Hindu marriages continues till this day, Sibal said.

"Triple talaq is unconstitutional".

He said the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, was brought with an intention to ensure that unlike Hindu women, their Muslim counterparts get property rights and it did not codify the Shariat law.

Chief Justice of India asked that is e-talaq also there in existence.

To this, the bench had said, "we can not do that".

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