Can't Rewrite Personal Laws in Name of Reform, Muslim Board Tells Court

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The Supreme Court is examining the validity of triple Talaq after some Muslim women challenged it.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Supreme Court cannot interfere in religious freedom: Muslim Law Board
  2. Husband should decide on divorce as they won't take hasty decision: Board
  3. Triple Talaq has been challenged by some Muslim women
In a document justifying "triple talaq" divorce, the top decision-making body of Muslims in India today said the Supreme Court cannot interfere in religious freedom and "rewrite personal laws in the name of social reform".

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board told the court that the "validity of triple Talaq cannot be decided by the Supreme Court".

The triple Talaq form of divorce is "permissible in Islam as the husband is in a better position to take a decision because they won't take hasty decision and it is used only when there is a valid ground," the board said.

Scriptures, it said, don't fall within the expression of "laws that can be challenged."

Stating that issues of marriage, divorce and maintenance differ from religion to religion, the board said, "The validity of the rights in one religion can't be questioned by court. As per Quran divorce is essentially undesirable but permissible when needed."

The policy of Islam, the affidavit says, is that "it is better to dissolve the marriage when there is bitterness among couples."

The law board said it's a "misconception that a Muslim man enjoys unilateral power in divorce." Also, while Islam permits polygamy, it doesn't encourage it, said the group.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur is hearing a batch of petitions on the conflict between fundamental guarantees in the constitution and personal laws in the country.

Triple Talaq has been challenged by some Muslim women. Among them is Ishrat Jahan, whose husband divorced her on the phone. Ms Jahan has argued that divorce through spoken words violates fundamental rights.

Ms Jahan alleges 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.

In July, based on these demands for the abolition of the triple talaq, the Supreme Court called for a wider debate.


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