- Kapil Sibal is Congress leader, represented Muslim body
- Argued that state should not interfere in religious matters
- Supreme Court verdict "protects personal laws", says Mr Sibal
"We hail the judgment, it protects personal laws and at the same time deprecates the practice of triple talaq," Mr Sibal told reporters. Another senior Congress leader and lawyer, Salman Khurshid, assisted the five judges who tested the constitutional validity of triple talaq; his observations indicated that he believes the practice is not in keeping with Islam.
Three of five judges today said that the Islamic practice of uttering "talaq" (divorce) three times to render an instant divorce is not constitutional, ruling in favour of Muslim women who argued that it violates their right to equality.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government took a strong stand in court and publicly, seeking for triple talaq to be abolished. The PM tweeted his support of the "historic decision".
The PM's party, the BJP, is in favour of a uniform civil code which would end the current practice of religious institutions governing matters of personal law like marriage, divorce and the inheritance of property through civil codes designed to protect the independence of different faiths.
Three of the five judges today said that triple talaq is "arbitrary" and "not part of Islam".
But organisations like the AIMPLB, which was represented by Mr Sibal, say that the ruling administration is working to diminish Islamic influence in society. Other critics, like Muslim leader Asaduddin Owaisi, accuse the PM of trying to appease Muslim women for electoral gains.
The AIMPLB lawyer Kapil Sibal also says personal laws cannot be touched in future and it has upheld their validity for all religions including tribals.
Mr Sibal's party, the Congress, praised the verdict as "a progressive, secular judgment for equal rights of Muslim women in India," triggering allegations of hypocrisy - in a 1985 landmark judgment, the Supreme Court granted divorcee, Shah Bano, alimony for life. But following protests from Muslim leaders and others that the court was being intrusive and against Muslim law, the Congress government of Rajiv Gandhi passed a law that set aside the court verdict.
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