The Supreme Court will start hearing from today on pleas of challenging the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy practices among Muslims. A special bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar of the Supreme Court (SC) will hear the final arguments on triple talaq Thursday, but the 5-member bench has been selected keeping in mind every faith.The bench will also take up the main matter on its own as a petition titled “Muslim Women’s quest for equality”.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi will assist the bench which will also examine to what extent the court can interfere in the Muslim personal laws if they are found to be violative of the fundamental rights of citizens written in the Constitution.The apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands. The top court will examine the issue to give an authoritative pronouncement on the constitutional and legal validity of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy practices among Muslims.The Muslim women who have filed the petitions have challenged the practice of triple talaq in which the husband, quite often, pronounces talaq thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or text message.Influential Muslim organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have opposed court’s adjudication of these matters, maintaining these practices stemmed from the Holy Quran and were not justiciable.The Allahabad High Court had earlier said triple talaq was an unconstitutional practice. The Supreme Court, too, had said the impact of religious practices like triple talaq and nikah halala were “very important” and would be decided by a constitutional bench of the apex court on May 11.
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