November 21, 2017

The Judgment of Supreme Court is a huge victory for us: All India Muslim Personal Law Board

New Delhi

Press Release by AIMPLB

We, as a representative body, welcome the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court since it accords protection to Muslim personal law and says that personal laws cannot be tested by courts on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. The majority (comprising Justice Kehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer with Justice Kurian Joseph agreeing) has accorded personal laws the status of a fundamental right being protected under the right to practice religion contained in Article 25. This is a huge victory for us as the judgment vindicates our stand and ensures the fundamental right of citizens of this country to freely profess and practice their religious faith/beliefs. This judgment shall ensure non-interference by the courts in matters of practices emanating from religious texts and belief systems of different communities. Ultimately, the judgment has upheld the essence of fundamental rights ensured to the citizens of this country.

 

Insofar as the practice of talaq-e-biddat is concerned, we had already submitted to the court that the practice of three pronouncements of Talaq in one sitting, though it has basis in religious texts and belief thereon, is not the best way of pronouncing Talaq and various surveys suggest that it is seldom resorted to. For a long time, we ourselves have taken steps to discourage this practice through community reform programmes and Model Form of Nikahnama issued by the Board. In the affidavit filed on 22.05.2017, we had already informed the Court about our stand for issuing instructions to the Maulvis/Qazis to incorporate conditions in the Nikahnama to provide for the option to the marrying parties to exclude the option of pronouncing three Times Talaq in one sitting, in case of divorce taking place.We are aware that many Muslims believetalaq-e-biddat, meaning triple talaq given in one sitting, has basis in religious belief/practice. However, while we accept the judgement, we will examine the issues of its implementation and will work to resolve the same.

Since the majority on the validity of talaq-e-biddat comprising Justice Nariman, Justice Lalit and Justice Kurain have held the practice to be illegal and have struck it down, the reference to Parliament by Chief Justice Kehar and Justice Abdul Nazeerto address the issue of talaq-e-biddatis inconsequential being the minority view on this point. The Supreme Court verdict therefore cannot be misused by the Government to try to interfere with personal laws through legislation

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