Kapil Sibal equates Triple Talaq with Hindus’ faith that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram.
On Tuesday, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Apex Court that Triple talaq is a matter of faith for Muslims similar to how it’s a matter of faith for the Hindus that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya.
Senior adv. Kapil Sibal, appearing for AIMPLB, asked a 5 judge Constitution Bench led by CJI J S Khehar why’s the Centre so keen to raise any doubt about constitutional morality of Muslims’ faith in the 1,400 year old practice of Triple Talaq when no doubts have been raised about Hindus’ faith that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram? Who is the govt. to say that the practice of triple talaq, which has evolved through family & social norms, is “un-Islamic”?
Mr. Kapil Sibal was responding to the Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi’s submissions that triple talaq should be tested on the grounds of ‘constitutional morality’, an idea that includes gender equality, secularism & dignity.
Rohatgi had asked the SC to strike down all the 3 forms of triple talaq as “constitutionally immoral”.
“But the matters of faith can’t be tested on constitutional morality, equity or whatever.” Mr. Kapil Sibal argued
Mr. Sibal said that many women in Hanafi school accept it as a valid form of divorce & majority of the Prophet’s companions considered it good.
He argued, For eg, husband is cruel & drunk, wife is fed up & wants instant triple talaq, but the husband refuses it to further torture he, she does not have money to go to the courts; if the society intervenes & her husband gives her instant talaq, you’ll call it illegal. So, there’re a no. of complexities, which the SC can’t go into in a matter of just 6 days. Personal law relates to personal relationships.
Responding to Mr. Sibal’s statement that the has been practised for 1400 years Justice Kurian Joseph said “Maybe women hadn’t thought about approaching court for 1,400 yrs., now some of them have come to the SC.”
Justice Kurian went on to ask Mr. Sibal why talaq-e-biddat (instantaneous triple talaq) alone is excluded from the nikah nama as a form of divorce.
Justice Kurian asked “if talaq-e-biddat is as sacred as talaq hasan and talaq ahasan (the other 2 forms of triple talaq), why’s it alone left out of the nikah nama?”
Mr. Sibal submitted that “Because it is irregular unlike ahasan and hasan. It is sinful and undesirable.” He said that there should be reform, but it has to come from within the concerned community. Others can’t dictate to us how we should reform.
On the government’s assurance to bring in new law if the court declared all three forms of triple talaq as bad, Mr. Sibal asked: “What if the Parliament does not enact such a law? Where will Muslims go for divorce?”
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