'Will enact divorce law for Muslims'

The process called'triple talaq, is prohibited in Pakistan and faces legal controversy in India after reports emerged of men divorcing their wives via letters Skype and even Whats App

Yesterday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, submitted that personal laws have to undergo the test of Articles 13, 14 and 15 and that the Bombay High Court decision in Narasu Appa Mali will have to be debated by the court.

Prior in the hearing today, the Supreme Court declined to hear all the three instances of Polygamy, Nikah and Halala without a moment's delay, saying it will concentrate on one matter at any given moment.

Today is the fourth day of the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy and "nikah halala" which is going on before a bench comprising members of different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.

He said no legislation can take the place of a custom, being practised over 1400 years, and it cannot be termed un- Islamic. "Slamming the Centre for calling triple talaq 'un-Islamic" and not ordained by the Quran or Constitution, he said ceremonies concerning birth, marriage, divorce, property and death are decided by families, influenced by social norms.

ALSO READ: Is Triple Talaq Fundamental To Religion?

The A-G also asked the bench to clarify that both polygamy and "nikah halala" are still open and would be dealt with by another bench in future, following which the court clarified that "it will be dealt in future".

Even bigger blunder by Sibal on day four of the triple talaq hearing in the Supreme Court was when he said "triple talaq can not be tampered with as it's something the Qura'n is silent about".

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The idea was to establish that the practice of instant divorce for Muslim men was intrinsic to the religion; the court had made it clear right at the beginning that if the court concluded that it was, then it would adopt a hands-off approach. For arguments, Supreme Court gave first three days to those in opposition of Triple Talaq and next three days to those who favor it. AIMPLB and other parties have two days left before the Supreme Court comes to a conclusion.

Citing the 1937 Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, he said it was not an attempt to codify Muslim personal law and its "essential purpose" was to ensure that all those customs and practices which were contrary to Islam but being followed by those who embraced Islam should be discontinued and declared contrary to Islam.

"What religious practices are essential to a particular religion or faith is hard to define for this court". Thus, the practice of giving dowry during Hindu marriages continues till this day, Sibal said. "Hence, there was no question of constitutional morality and equity", Sibal argued.

"All personal laws must be in confirmity with the Constitution". He also reiterated that triple talaq was a "non-issue" which does not require judicial scrutiny.

"Triple talaq is unlawful".

The bench had asked Khurshid if triple talaq was India- specific and what had led to its repeal in other countries.

Then the bench asked Sibal whether he wanted to say that "practice or belief" with regard to triple talaq was a subject matter of Article 25 (right to practice religion), he replied in affirmative.

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