NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday said that if the Supreme Court strikes down triple talaq, it will bring in a law to regulate Muslim marriages and divorces.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the Supreme Court about the Narendra Modi government’s intent when asked what are the remedies for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.
At this, the Attorney General told a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar that “If the practice of instant divorce (triple talaq) is struck down by the court, then Centre will bring a law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community.”
Mukul Rohatgi told the Constitution bench that triple talaq violates Muslim women’s right to equality within the community, and also within the country.
All forms of talaq are bad since they are unilateral in nature, the Attorney General said adding that Muslim women are not given equal status within the community in matters pertaining to divorce.
Muslim women in India have not been given rights that women in other countries have been given, said Mukul Rohatgi.
WILL DEAL WITH TRIPLE TALAQ FOR NOW
Earlier, the Supreme Court said that due to paucity of time it will only deal with triple talaq while keeping the issues of polygamy and nikah halala pending.
“It may not be possible to deal with all the three issues in the limited time we have. We will keep them pending for future,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Supreme Court must also test the validity of polygamy and nikah halala separately.
ALL THREE ISSUES MUST BE HEARD, SAYS CENTRE
The Centre insisted that all the three issues–triple talaq, polygamy, nikah halala–must be heard as the plea before the Supreme Court raises all the three questions.
“The scope of referring had all the three issues that was divorce, nikah halala, polygamy. All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two- judge bench,” Mukul Rohatgi said.
“At a time when theocratic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are moving towards reform, we being a secular country are still debating,” Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court
WILL BE DEALT IN FUTURE, SAYS COURT
Rohatgi asked the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, to make it clear that the issues of polygamy and nikah halala are still open and would be dealt by other bench in future.
At this, the Supreme Court said it will keep the issues of polygamy and nikah halala open for debate at a later point in time. “It will be dealt in future,” the bench clarified.
The Constitution bench is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the practice of triple talaq among Muslims.
(Inputs from PTI)