Supreme Court on Thursday heared final the pleas related triple talaq on sixth and last day. After Thursday’s hearings, the apex court reserved the judgement and is expected to announce it on a later date.
Here are the highlights from the proceedings:
Supreme Court reserves order in triple talaq case
Lawyer Amit Chadha, appearing for the main petitioner, Saira Bano tells SC 'In my opinion, Triple Talaq is a sin and is between me & my maker'
Lawyer Amit Chadha, appearing for main petitioner, Saira Bano arguing before the five-judge Constitution bench of SC
On the fifth day of the hearing of a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy and ‘nikah halala’, the Centre told SC that triple talaq is neither integral to Islam nor a “majority versus minority” issue but rather an “intra-community tussle” between Muslim men and deprived women.
The contentious issue is being heard by a five-judge bench comprising members of different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.
The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, asked the Centre as to why it did not legislate to regulate marriages and divorce among Muslims.
Read | Triple talaq not integral to Islam, it is intra-community tussle, Centre tells Supreme Court
“You (Centre) said if court quashes triple talaq then you will make a law but why the government did not make a law for last 60 years?” the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, asked.
Rohatgi replied that the hallmark of a secular court was to reform without waiting for a legislation, when such matters come to it.
“I will do what I have to do but the question is what will you (court) do? I have given statement on instruction. I speak for the government and can’t speak for parliament,” he said reiterating that the top court was guardian of fundamental rights and has to see whether there was any violation of such rights.
Earlier during the day, the bench asked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract).
“Can it be made possible to give an option to a wife that she can say that she was agreeable to or not agreeable to it (triple talaq)?
“Is it possible to pass a resolution to all ‘qazis’ to include this condition (giving right to woman to say ‘no’ to triple talaq) in ‘nikahnama’? Give an option to wife to say ‘no’ to triple talaq,” the bench said.
Former Union minister and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing the AIMPLB, said that he will respond to after talking to all the board members.
The court can fill up the void by judicial pronouncements if there is no law on a particular issue, Rohatgi said, adding the guidelines on sexual harassment at work place were framed by it in the Vishakha case.
Read | Centre to bring a new law in case all forms of divorce including Triple Talaq struck down
Rohatgi referred to practises ‘sati’, infanticide, ‘devdasi’ and untouchability among Hindus and said that they have been done away with.
“Did courts do it? These were abolished by legislations,” the bench asked.“Then why do the court goes into issues like Vishaka. The court can’t say that it is helpless and it cannot step in. It is the guardian of fundamental right,” Rohatgi replied.
He said that India is “secular country with a secular constitution” which has kept core of all religions intact but they are subject to fundamental rights.