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Muslim women can opt out of triple talaq, AIMPLB tells SC

19 May 2017

Lawyer Flavia Agnes, co-founder of the legal centre Majlis that works on women's rights, said while the focus was on the practice of triple talaq, the key issue was how women can be helped to ensure they know their economic and legal rights.

Supreme Court has reserved its verdict.

Earlier in the morning, the bench asked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) if it was possible to give the woman the option, before she gives her consent to nikaah, that the marriage she was entering into would not be dissolved through instant triple talaq and whether their advisory would be followed by the qazis at the ground. Sibal retorted "lots of sinful things are happening in the society protected by customs".

The triple talaq hearing on a batch of petitions filed by Muslim Women's Quest for Equlity and others was completed in six record days by the Constitution Bench sitting during summer vacations. We also don't want to have this practice.

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Citing examples, Khurshid told the court that the Triple Talaq practice can not be validated constitutionally. All these are not in the court's domain. Another advocate, Ashwini Upadhyay, attempted to ridicule AIMPLB's stand saying tomorrow there would be a Hindu Personal Law Board to take a rigid stand on Hindu practices.

AIMPB said there will be a provision in the nikahnama enabling the wife to say no to triple talaq. "If it is bad in theology it can not be acceptable?" When Sibal said "it may be bad, it may be sinful but women accept it a large number of women lawyers appearing for aggrieved women petitioners protested loudly saying "No".

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today told the Supreme Court it favoured the marriage agreement or nikahnama giving a bride the option not to agree to the wedding unless the document contained a clause prohibiting an instant triple talaq. "It is intra-community struggle between men and women because men are more resourceful, earner and educated", he said.

Another case of Triple Talaq has surfaced from Uttarakhand, where Shamim Jahan fell prey to the Islamic divorce practice.

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Contesting AIMPLB's claim to be a representative voice of the Muslim community, senior counsel Anand Grover said that Talaq-i-bidat was not an essential part of the Sunni Muslim faith, thus it has been changed in several Sunni-majority countries. Anything that is admittedly bad in theology (a religious belief) and sinful in religion can never be masquerading as faith.

Referring to the responses of the AIMPLB, he said that even they say that triple talaq was "undesirable", "sinful" but yet valid and wondered "then how it can be said to be integral to religion".

The board also showed the court a resolution passed on April 14, 2017, which stated triple talaq as a sin and that the community should boycott the person doing such an act.

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Muslim women can opt out of triple talaq, AIMPLB tells SC