Triple talaq to be tested on touchstone of Constitution: SC

NEW DELHI (TIP): A divorce through ‘triple talaq’ among the Muslim community is a “very important matter affecting a large section of people” which has to be tested on the “touchstone of constitutional framework”, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday while agreeing to examine the issue of personal law.

The apex court said “we are not straightaway arriving at any conclusion” as there were “very strong views” on both sides. It said it will also see if there was any error in previous judgements which dealt with the issue and decide whether it can be referred to a larger or a five-judge constitution bench.

“We are straightaway not jumping to any conclusion. It has to be seen if there is a need for any further consideration of law by the constitution bench,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilker said while asking the parties to get ready for a debate on the scope of judicial review of judgements on
‘triple talaq’.

“Personal law has to be tested on the touchstone of constitutional framework,” it said while stressing that “this is a very important issue affecting a large section of people and there are very strong views from both the sides.”

The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing on September 6, said “legal propositions for determination has to be worked out”.

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During the hearing, senior advocate Indira Jaising referred to an old verdict of the Bombay High Court holding that the Personal Law regime cannot be subjected to the fundamental rights.

The bench said “all can express their views and participate in the debate. We will know what is the stand of all the parties.”

Wednesday’s hearing saw a total of four petitions assailing the concept of divorce through ‘triple talaq’, with the bench allowing all of them to be impleaded and sought the stand of Centre on the issue within six weeks.

The remarks that all can express their views came after a woman advocate, Farah Faiz, sought restraint on All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and others from airing their views on public platform including TV debates.

“We will not be influenced by TV shows. You can also participate in TV shows. We will keep your application pending. If at any stage we find that they are going out of hand, we will intervene,” the bench said.

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