Triple Talaq: SC Seeks Written Submissions From All Parties; Detailed Hearing From May 11
"It is such an important issue...we cannot rush through..it will take time..there are so many nuances to it and we have to consider each one of them" Chief Justice J S Khehar-led bench.
The Supreme Court today asked all sides including aggrieved women petitioners, Centre, All India Muslim Personal Board and women rights bodies to submit written submissions by March 30 on the issue of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said a detailed hearing of petitions challenging the validity of the practices will commence from May 11.
"It is such an important issue...we cannot rush through..it will take time..there are so many nuances to it and we have to consider each one of them" , the bench said.
Taking ahead its hearing on batch of petitions, one of them taken suo motu by it on the contentious issue and recurring complaints of gender discrimination suffered by muslim women arising out of several rules in its personal laws, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday said it would decide issues pertaining to legal aspects of the practices of triple talaq, 'nikah halala' and polygamy among Muslims and would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim law needs to be supervised by courts as it falls under the legislative domain.
The bench had however, made it clear that it was not dealing with the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which is currently being examined by the Law Commission of India.
“You (lawyers for parties) sit together and finalise the issues to be deliberated upon by us. We are listing it day after tomorrow for deciding the issues”, a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud had said.
It is to be noted that on June 29 the Supreme Court had asked all parties including the Centre and All India Muslim Personal Board to frame legal propositions requiring consideration.
“It is a very important issue. Everyone needs to be heard. We will hold a preliminary hearing if there is need for deeper consultation we might even refer it to larger bench.Frame issues on what is the scope of judicial review in this matter at the same time if we feel that the law is settled we will not interfere Legal propositions which call for consideration have to be framed first. Do it within six weeks”, a bench headed by then chief justice T S Thakur told lawyers of all parties.
The Centre submitted four questions for the Constitution Bench's consideration. They are:
- Whether the impugned practices of talaq-e-biddat, Nikaah halala and polygamy are protected under Article 25(1) of the Constitution of India?
- Whether Article 25(1) is subject to part III of the Constitution and in particular Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India?
- Whether personal law is law under Article 13 of the Constitution?
- Whether the impugned practices of talaq-e-biddat, Nikaah halala and polygamy are compatible with India’s obligations under International treaties and covenants to which India is a signatory?
On Tuesday the bench made it clear to the parties concerned that it would not deal with the factual aspects of the particular case and would rather decide the legal issue.
“We are not interested with facts at all. We are only interested in dealing with the legal issue”, the bench said.
The apex court said that the question whether divorce under Muslim Personal Law needs to be supervised by either courts or by a court-supervised institutional arbitration falls under the legislative domain.
The court, meanwhile, allowed the lawyers to file small synopsis of cases pertaining to alleged victims of triple talaq.
The Centre had earlier opposed the practice of triple talaq, 'nikah halala' and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.