Constitution bench to hear plea on triple talaq

Constitution bench to hear plea on triple talaq
The Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the questions relating to the legality of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy, practised by Muslims in the country. Triple Talaq is divorce by husband by pronouncing talaq thrice, while nikah halala is a bar against remarriage with a divorced husband, without an intervening marriage with another man. Both these practices are mandated under the Muslim Personal Law.

The court showed urgency and fixed May 11, the day the summer vacations of the apex court begin, for hearing questions about the Constitutional validity of the practices raised by several women, supported by the Union government. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud rejected the objections raised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, senior advocate Kapil Sibal and another counsel, citing personal difficulty in arguing the case during summer vacations.

“There is no compulsion. If you don't want, we will also enjoy our vacations...then don't blame arrears of cases,” the bench told the counsels, pointing out that in 2015, the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case was also heard during vacations.

Court unhappy
“For years, all these cases remain pending and for further more years, it would remain pending,” the bench said, expressing its displeasure about the counsels’ reluctance.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who appeared for All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and Attorney General Rohatgi, among others, contended that since the apex court had already posted two other matters – right to privacy in use of social media and whether the children of illegal Bangladeshi migrants born here can avail the benefit of citizenship under the existing law – before the Constitution bench, it would be difficult for them to argue those cases in simultaneous proceedings.

The bench, however, remained firm, maintaining that all those matters were posted during vacations after obtaining consent from the counsel. To this, Sibal replied, in that case, he preferred to withdraw his consent.

Ramachandran also wanted the matter to be heard in July. But the court fixed May 11 as the date to start the hearing and gave two weeks time to all the parties to submit their written note on the matter. The court even proposed to conduct the hearing on Saturday and Sunday.

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