The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested that Muslim women must be given the option to say no to triple talaq. The Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, J S Khehar sought to know that if such an option could be given. The Supreme Court is likely to wind up the arguments tomorrow after giving each party a maximum of 20 minutes more to argue.
The Bench also sought to know from the AIMPLB if an advisory by it would be followed by the Qazi at the ground level. To this the one of the counsel for the board said that an advisory by the AIMPLB is not mandatory for Qazis to follow.
The Bench further said that instant talaq is not part of the Quran. It is a latter-day practise. If biddat is a sin, then why not triple talaq, the court also said.
Kapil Sibal arguing for the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board said when the court takes a matter like this suo-motu it gives a wrong message. It is not as though Muslims wake up and give divorce. He further went on to say that a new modern nikhanama has been issued and we are working on social reforms with respect to triple talaq.
Sibal while defending the practise of triple talaq also said it is the faith in the court that they have for 67 years is what brought them here. Sibal went on to quote the skies of Alaska. " Look at Alaska, it is massive in size. The golden eagle there is covering the sky, but the birds are comfortable in their nests. The faith of the minorities needs to be in the comfort of the nest, he also said.
Sibal further went on to add that challenging the constitutional validity of triple talaq could have a reviving impact on the dying practise. Triple talaq is practised by a small portion of the Muslim community and is dying. But if a secular court like the SC entertains its scrutiny suo motu and Centre pitches in for its ban, Muslim community may take a rigid stand. The Muslim community is gradually giving up triple talaq and polygamy. There is a good chance this may clam up fearing an onslaught by the government and judiciary, Sibal also argued.
The government argued that the call to ban triple talaq is not a battle between the majority and minority community. It is a tussle between Muslim men and women. Women have questioned for centuries the hegemony suffered by them at the hands of their own men, the government also said.
When the SC pointed out that as per the board, a legislation is the solution, the centre said, hallmark of a secular court is to reform without waiting for a legislation.
The centre also pointed out that practises such as Sati and Devadasi among Hindus were stopped. The CJI then asked if the courts stopped these systems. No it was legislation that did, the CJI also pointed out.