On 2 September, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court that "personal laws cannot be re-written in the name of social reforms".
Submitting its response in connection with the ongoing matter on the 'triple talaq' issue, the AIMPLB said, 'Personal laws cannot be challenged as violative of Part III of the Constitution. When serious discords develop in a marriage and husband wants to get rid of wife, legal compulsions and time consuming judicial process... in extreme cases husband may resort to illegal criminal ways of getting rid of her by murdering her. In such situations Triple Talaq is a better recourse," AIMPLB told the apex court.
"Marriage is a contract in which both parties are not physically equal. Male is stronger and female is a weaker sex. Securing separation through court takes a long time deters prospects of remarriage," it added.
The AIMPLB further said that polygamy as a social practice is not for gratifying men's lust, but it is a social need.
"Muslim women have right to divorce under Khula practice. Issues of Muslim Personal Law are raised in the Supreme Court are for Parliament for decide. The Uniform Civil code is a directive principle and not enforceable. The personal laws are protected by Article 25, 26 and 29 of the Constitution as they are acts done in pursuance of a religion," it added.
The apex court had last week issued notice to the Central Government on the plea of a Muslim woman challenging the Constitutional validity of 'triple talaq' to end a marriage.
The petitioner Ishrat Jahan has sought a declaration from the apex court, saying that Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, was unconstitutional as it violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality), 15 (non-discrimination), 21 (life) and 25 (religion) of the Constitution. In her petition, Jahan has asked whether an arbitrary and unilateral divorce through triple talaq can deprive the wife of her rights in her matrimonial home as also her right to have the custody of her children.
A batch of petitions is being heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur and notices have already been issued to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and others. However, this is not the first such type of petition that has been presented before the Supreme Court as Uttarakhand-based Shayara Banu and the Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh through its president Farah Faiz have raised similar queries.
On July 29, the apex court had favoured a wider debate on the petitions challenging the validity of triple talaq. All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) president Shaista Ambar has demanded abolishing of the triple talaq system.
Talaq-e-bidat is a Muslim man divorcing his wife by pronouncing the word "talaq" more than once in a single tuhr (the period between two menstruations) or in a tuhr after coitus or pronouncing an irrevocable instantaneous divorce at one go (unilateral triple-talaq).
The Centre has set up a high-level committee to review the status of women in India and according to reports has recommended a ban on the practice of oral, unilateral and triple talaq (divorce) and polygamy.