SC dismisses plea against Triple Talaq ordinance

SC dismisses plea against Triple Talaq ordinance

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. PTI file photo

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to allow a plea by a Kerala-based organisation of Sunni scholars, challenging the constitutional validity of an Ordinance, that made the practice of triple talaq as a punishable offence.

“We also don't see (think) that every Ordinance is a fraud upon the Constitution,” a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

“Suppose, we issue notice on the plea and do not stay the operation of the Ordinance. What would happen? Why do you make challenge in a piece-meal manner? The winter session of Parliament is coming,” the bench said.

“We are not inclined to interfere with the matter,” the bench, also comprising Justices K M Joseph and Hemant Gupta, said.

Subsequently, on a request by senior advocate Raju Ramachandran and other counsel, the court allowed 'Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama' and others to withdraw the petition.

The petitioner claimed the penal provision introduced through Ordinance may cause grave public mischief and lead to polarisation and disharmony in society.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance was notified on September 19, hours after the Union Cabinet had cleared it. It had declared the practice as illegal and void, enjoining a three-year jail term for the husband. The Union government, however, in August brought a Bill, diluting some of the provisions, making pronouncement of triple talaq a bailable offence.

In its plea, 'Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama' contended the Ordinance promulgated by the Centre was "arbitrary and discriminatory" and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and should be struck down.

The apex court had on August 22, 2017, set aside the 1400-year-old practice as illegal on several grounds including that it was against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and violated the Islamic law Shariat.