Triple talaq case: Statements by Supreme Court judges suggest what Centre's law may look like

While holding the practice of triple talaq as against the basic tenets of Quran, the Supreme Court passed the baton to the Centre on Tuesday and asked it to bring in a law within six months. The apex court also ruled that the injunction will continue in case the government fails to bring the law into force within six months.

 Triple talaq case: Statements by Supreme Court judges suggest what Centres law may look like

Representational image. AFP

Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman and UU Lalit held triple talaq as violative of the Constitution while Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer were in favour of putting on hold for six months the practice of triple talaq, asking the government to come out with a law in this regard.

While the task before the Union law ministry seems challenging and daunting, a portion of the judgment may help the Centre draft a law in this regard.

The concluding paragraph of page 393 of the 395 page apex court order has statements by Nariman and Lalit, which read, "…it is clear that this form of talaq is manifestly arbitrary in the sense that the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim man without any attempt at reconciliation so as to save it. This form of talaq must, therefore, be held to be violative of the fundamental right contained under Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

"In our opinion, therefore, the 1937 Act, insofar as it seeks to recognise and enforce triple talaq, is within the meaning and expression "laws in force" in Article 13(1) and must be struck down as being void to the extent that it recognises and enforces triple talaq. Since we have declared Section 2 of the 1937 Act to be void to the extent indicated above on the narrower ground of it being manifestly arbitrary, we do not find the need to go into the ground of discrimination in these cases, as was argued by the learned attorney general and those supporting him."

Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 states that, "Notwithstanding any custom or usage to the contrary, in all questions (save questions relating to agricultural land) regarding intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of Personal Law, marriage, dissolution of marriage, including talaq, ila, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, maintenance, dower, guardianship, gifts, trusts and trust properties, and wakfs (other than charities and charitable institutions and charitable and religious endowments) the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat)."

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2017 14:47:17 IST