India

If Triple Talaq is struck down, centre clears what would be the next step

The government on today, the third day of the hearing on the much-debated triple talaq issue, told the Supreme Court that it will come out with a new law banning the practice if triple talaq is held ‘invalid and unconstitutional’ by the apex court.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, “If the practice of triple talaq is struck down by the court, the Centre will bring a law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community.”

Rohatgi’s submission came when the court asked him about the remedies for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.

The significant observation was made when Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, said that the issues of ‘polygamy’ and ‘nikah halala’ were also part of the order of a two-judge bench, which had referred to the Constitution bench the three issues, including the practice of triple talaq among Muslims.

“The scope of referring had all the three issues that were divorce, nikah halala and polygamy. All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two- judge bench,” said Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

When the Attorney General asked the bench to make it clear whether the issues of ‘polygamy’ and ‘nikah halala’ are still open and would it be dealt by other benches in future, the court clarified “it will be dealt in future.”

Today is the third day of the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala, which is going on before a bench comprising members of different religious communities, including Sikh, Christian, Parsee, Hindu and Muslim.

During the last hearing, the apex court had observed that triple talaq is the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among the Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it “legal”.

The apex court has fixed a six-day schedule for hearing, in which three days are available for those challenging triple talaq and three days for those defending it.

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