The All India Muslim Personal Law Board said recently in an affidavit that triple talaq prevents men from killing their wives. The affidavit further stated that a ban on polygamy also encourages illicit sex. The affidavit was filed in the Supreme Court which is hearing a petition seeking a ban on triple talaq.
S Q R Ilyas, a member of the board says that the basic question they are trying to raise is that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction in such matters pertaining to personal laws. He tells OneIndia this is a matter of the legislature and not the judiciary. Personal laws come under the purview of freedom of religion as enshrined in the Indian Constitution he also says.
Triple talaq prevents cruelty towards women:
Ilyas says that triple talaq cannot be abandoned. Sometimes a divorce is inevitable. Separation becomes absolutely necessary and in such a case triple talaq prevents cruelty towards the woman. I do not think what the board states in the affidavit is harsh.
The board has cited many examples to justify its stand. Fortunately in the Muslim community dowry deaths and wife killings are not there. This is because of triple talaq, Ilyas also points out. This is because separation is easy and if the procedure of divorce is made difficult then anything could happen, the board member adds.
With regard to the right of the wife, Ilyas says that if she thinks the marriage must be terminated, then she can approach the court. Under the Muslim Marriage Act there is a provision for the woman to terminate the marriage, he further adds.
Polygamy permissible not obligatory:
Ilyas says that polygamy is permissible and not obligatory. In a society where polygamy is not permitted there are illicit relationships. Polygamy is there for various reasons. Suppose the wife is unwell or is not able to bear a child then polygamy comes into the picture, Ilyas says.
If there are issues with the woman, then giving her a divorce would be cruel. Due to polygamy the husband can fulfil his needs as well as keep the marriage with the first wife. This way he is providing her security, Ilyas explains. Ilyas however feels that if a wife has two husbands then it could lead to several socio-legal complications.
We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will not interfere in this matter. We have cited several judgments of various courts which state that judiciary cannot interfere with in matter pertaining to personal laws. The Supreme Court would be interfering with the freedom of religion if it interferes in this matter, Ilyas feels.