New Delhi: The Centre is likely to take a tough stance against triple talaq in the Supreme Court on the plea that according sanctity to it under Sharia is "completely misplaced" and it is "unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory" as many Islamic countries have regulated matrimonial laws.
The Centre is also of the view that the issue is not to be seen from the point of view of Uniform Civil Code, but be treated substantively as an issue of gender justice and that of fundamental rights of women. These views are likely to be articulated by the Centre before the Supreme Court in the triple talaq case that will come up before the Court sometime next week.
"A practice - unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory, has always given way before a humanising Constitutional principle, particularly under Chapter 3 of the fundamental rights.
"This whole plea of sanctity under Sharia is completely misplaced. There are nearly 20 Islamic countries in the world who have regulated their matrimonial laws, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and some Arabic countries like Saudi Arabia," a senior government functionary said.
The official said, "This issue is not to be seen from the point of view of Uniform Civil Code at all. The issue is only and substantively the issue of gender justice." The plea to be taken by the Centre, that supports the petitioners in the triple talaq case in Apex Court, will highlight the issue of non-discrimination towards women and the dignity of individuals which permeates the entire scheme of fundamental rights as articulated under Article 14, Article 15 and Article 21 of Constitution.
"The issue is if regulating the matrimonial law in an acknowledged Islamic country is not considered as contravening Sharia, how can this be treated like this in a secular country like India where Constitution is supreme," the official said.
The government's views came out at last week's meeting of Group of Ministers formulated on the issue. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi met last week to deliberate on government's possible stand to be taken in Supreme Court on the Muslim practice of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat).
They also deliberated on the Muslim practice of polygamy and nikah halala (a practice where divorced women, in case they want to go back to their husbands, have to consummate a second marriage). The Law Ministry will file a consolidated reply on the issue in the apex court by the end of this month.
The issue is being deliberated upon at inter-ministerial level which includes ministries of Home, Finance and Women and Child Development apart from the Law ministry.