Supreme Court today began its hearing on a plea that the triple talaq and nikah halala violated Muslim women’s rights to equality and dignity.
The Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S Abdul Nazeer are expected to hear the matter for seven days.
The Supreme Court would examine whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam. At the beginning of hearing, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar clarified, “The matter can be summed up in three points: whether triple talaq is fundamental to Islam; if it is fundamental we have to see if we can interfere. Two, whether it is sacramental or not, and three, whether there is an enforceable fundamental right that is violated.”
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “The key point is whether the right to religion is subject to restrictions whether it can violate fundamental rights.”
The Supreme Court made it clear that it is not going to hear the issue of polygamy in the triple talaq case. The hearing will go on for seven days.
The Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J Khehar is hearing seven petitions, including five separate writ petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the practice of triple talaq prevalent in the community and terming it unconstitutional. 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 is assisting 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 enshrined in the Constitution.
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.
On March 27, the AIMPLB had told the apex court that pleas challenging such practices among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary.