Marriage of Muslim woman during 'iddat' not void: Court

Marriage of Muslim woman during 'iddat' not void: Court

Rohatgi told the bench that if they struck down triple talaq, as well as Nikah Halala and polygamy, the government would draft and institute a new law.

Terming triple talaq as part of Muslim belief and faith that has existed for past 1,400 years, Sibal said issues of faith can not be examined from the standpoint of Constitutional morality as there is grave danger in interpreting the faith what 160 million people in the country have accepted as part of their faith over the centuries. "All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two- judge bench", he added.

He had said the irrevocable nature of triple talaq can be negated if the three-time pronouncement of talaq in one go is considered one leaving the scope for reconciliation and re-union during the "iddat" (waiting) period.

To this, the bench, in a lighter vein, said, "We have been asking him (AG) to pass the law, so that we do not have to go into this. Slamming the Centre for calling triple talaq 'un-Islamic" and not ordained by the Quran or Constitution, he said ceremonies concerning birth, marriage, divorce, property and death are decided by families, influenced by social norms.

"If both marriage and divorce are contracts then why should others have a problem with triple talaq especially when it is a practise of 1,400 years?".

"The Central Government makes runs however as I would like to think, the pinnacle court ought not to meddle with it", Sibal said.

Today was the third day of the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy and "nikah halala" which is going on before a bench comprising members of different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsee, Hindu and Muslim.

The top court, earlier on Thursday, began hearing several pleas filed by Muslim women rejecting the practice of Triple Talaq. "It is not a question of constitutional morality".

Representing the government, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the Islam practiced in India was not "pure Islam" but an "anglicized" form of the religion.

Sibal said Section 2 of the Act talked about custom and usage but did not deal with Shariat and hence, triple talaq is protected under Article 25 (right to religion) of Constitution.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that AIMPLB should apologise for justifying triple talaq by saying that men have greater strength to control their emotions.

Referring to Hindu Code where exceptions were carved out for protection of customs and practices, Sibal said: "You can't say that all personal laws are protected but Muslim personal law was subject to fundamental rights".

"Triple talaq is unlawful".

Relentless debates on the validity and plausibility of this practice were instigated soon after one petitioner, Shayara Banu, challenged the Muslim personal law over instantaneous application of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat), polygamy and nikah-halala.

The bench is headed by Chief Justice of India Justice J S Khehar and has four other senior judges.

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