New Delhi: Branding triple talaq as immoral, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday stated that the controversial practice only creates inequality between men and women which was unacceptable in the Indian society, adding that freedom of religion is subject to reasonable restrictions.
Speaking to ANI in Delhi, Swamy opined that there is a “wrong impression” that freedom of religion is absolute and further elaborated, that under Article 25 of the Constitution, it says that freedom of religion is subject to some reasonable restrictions, which are due to morality, public order and health.
“So where is the question of talaq? It is an immoral thing. Because through that, what you are saying is men can divorce a woman who is totally dependent on him and bring to her to the streets by saying talaq three times. The woman is always living in a great deal of insecurity because of that. That only means that men and women are not equal, which we cannot accept,” he said.
Asserting that the same went for the Hindus as well, Swamy further said that when the Sabarimala matter came to light, it was decided that if women cannot go in the sanctum then so can’t men, or both genders must be allowed.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked all respective parties to give their written submissions to the Attorney General by March 30 in the matter.
“This is such an important issue and can’t be scuttled,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said on Thursday, observing that the four points suggested by the Centre relate to constitutional issues and should be dealt with by a larger bench.
The Centre’s four-point suggestion was a response to the top court’s call on Tuesday for pointed questions of law on triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy that the court should discuss.
Several women have filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking the quashing of the triple talaq practice. The Central Government has also told the top court that it is against gender injustice and for equality between men and women under the Constitution.
One of the petitioner’s Shayara 38, stirred a hornet’s nest after she moved the Supreme Court to challenge the triple talaq under Muslim personal law, under which a man simply has to utter ‘talaq’ thrice to divorce his wife.
Shayara has also challenged in the apex court the concept of ‘nikah-halal’, under which a woman must consummate another marriage in order to go back to her first husband if she wants to. She also wants to outlaw polygamy within a Muslim marriage.
In December last year, the Allahabad High Court termed the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word “talaq” thrice as unconstitutional.
The court further observed that the triple talaq practice sanctioned under Muslim Personal Law that governs marriage, property and divorce violates the rights of Muslim women.
“Triple talaq is unconstitutional, it violates the rights of Muslim women,” ruled the High Court, adding that no personal law board is above the Constitution.
However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has defended the practice, saying it is better to divorce a woman than kill her. The rights bestowed by religion can’t be questioned in a court of law, it said.