Moments after the 5-judge bench of Supreme Court declared penal provision on adultery as unconstitutional, terming it as a dent to the individuality of a woman, AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi politicised the verdict and asked the Modi government for the reversal of the triple talaq ordinance. Owaisi said “first they decriminalise Section 377, then now Section 497, but why not triple talaq.”
In his bid to draw comparison between the ordinance on triple talaq and Supreme Court’s landmark verdicts on Section 377 and 497, Owaisi is missing the cornerstone of these judgments, which is protecting the Right to Privacy of an individual, which is one of the fundamental rights given to every Indian citizen by the Constitution.
Earlier on September 6, CJI Dipak Misra while delivering the landmark verdict decriminalising gay sex, had asserted the point that sustenance of identity is one’s right and that “protecting one’s identity and one’s privacy are the important pillars of the Constitution.” The CJI also said that Section 377 is a contradiction to Right to Privacy.
“After the privacy judgment, right to privacy was made a fundamental right. Existence of Section 377 contradicts that,” said the CJI.
And, on Thursday, Justice Chandrachud while reading out the judgment on Adultery law said that Section 497 deprives a woman of her privacy.
“Society has two sets of standards for judging the morality of men and women. Section 497 also deprives a woman of a her privacy. The law is gender biased, gives unequal voice to partners,” said Justice Chandrachud.
On the other hand, the main purpose of the Union Government bringing the triple talaq ordinance was to curb injustice against Muslim women, perpetrated on them in the garb of the archaic practice of triple talaq.
The main points that were missed by Owaisi while comparing triple talaq to Section 497 is, that while adultery is a moral issue, triple talaq is a criminal issue, as the decriminalisation of Adultery act supports equality, the criminalisation of triple talaq does the same. Moreover, as Section 497 is deemed as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because it infringes on Right to Privacy, Triple Talaq was deemed as unconstitutional by the top court to ensure that wife is not treated as property by the husband.
In a landmark verdict, the apex court on August 22 last year had put the curtains down on a 1,400 year old practice of 'triple talaq' among Muslims and set it aside on several grounds including that it was against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and violated the Islamic law Shariat. The historic judgment came after several Muslim women had petitioned the court, arguing that practice of husbands divorcing them through "triple talaq", including by Skype and WhatsApp, not only violated their rights but also left many women destitute.
The Supreme Court had in a verdict in August last year declared instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional. Muslim women had petitioned the court, arguing that practice of husbands divorcing them through "triple talaq", including by Skype and WhatsApp, not only violated their rights but also left many women destitute.
However, even as the top court termed the practice as illegal, some Muslim men continued with the practice, leading the government to bring in the ordinance, which makes instant "triple talaq" a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by uttering the word "talaq" thrice. It has provisions for imprisonment as well.
However, Asaduddin Owaisi and co. have been dubbing the triple talaq ordinance as unfair, claiming the ordinance will violate fundamental rights and right to qquality and expressed the hope that the Muslim Personal Law Board will challenge it in court. Asaduddin Owaisi has also been saying that the ordinance is anti-Muslim women and will lead to more injustice to Muslim women.