The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre on the plea of a Muslim woman challenging the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’ divorce. The petitioner Ishrat Jahan had appealed that divorce through spoken words violated fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
While seeking the court’s intervention Ms Jahan said that her husband divorced her after pronouncing ‘talaq’ over the phone. She also said that she was denied the custody of her four children aged between 7 and 12 years and also deprived of property rights over her husband’s home.
Ms Jahan told the court that she had intervened to try and stop her husband from remarrying after being divorced over the phone. Chief Justice Thakur told the petitioner’s counsel, that under present law her husband was free to remarry even without divorcing her.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur is already hearing a batch of petitions regarding conflict between fundamental guarantees in the Constitution and various personal laws in the country. The court has already issued a notice to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board in this matter.
On July 29, the apex court had favoured a wider debate on petitions against personal laws, after All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board president Shaista Ambar demanded the abolition of ‘triple talaq.’ Uttarakhand based Shayara Banu, another Muslim woman and the Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh through its president Farah Faiz had also raised similar demands.
In the Talaq-e-bidat, a Muslim man divorces his wife by pronouncing the word “talaq” more than once. Under Muslim Personal Law Act such divorces are legal and valid. However after growing protests by rights groups against the practice of spoken ‘talaq’ and polygamy, in 2015 the Centre set-up a high level committee to review such laws.
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