“Validity of practices like triple talaq and polygamy needs to be seen in the light of gender justice. They go against the principle of gender equality and are unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory”: Centre’s affidavit in Supreme Court.
Taking a firm stand against the controversial Muslim custom of triple talaq and polygamy officially for the first time, the Centre has told the Supreme Court through an affidavit that the practices need to be abolished as they are “unconstitutional, discriminatory, hurt gender equality and women’s dignity”.
Gender equality is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and non-negotiable, the Centre told the apex court asseting that “It is extremely significant to note that a large number of Muslim countries or countries with an overwhelmingly large Muslim population where Islam is the state religion have undertaken reforms in this area and have regulated divorce law and polygamy.
The affidavit lists the names of countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Iran to drive home its point.
Under Muslim personal law based on the Sharia, a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq thrice. Muslim men are also allowed to have four wives.
“Even though it may be true to say that only some women are directly and actually affected by these practices being divorced by talaq-e-bidat or being in a polygamous marriage, the fact remains that every woman to whom the law applies, lives under the threat, fear or prospect of being subject to these practices, which in turn impacts her status and her right to a life with confidence and dignity,” the government said.
WHAT THE AFFIDAVIT SAYS