The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Centre after hearing three petitions which had challenged the constitutional validity of 'The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019'. The SC has agreed to examine the challenge to the validity of the law which makes triple talaq among Muslims punishable offence. It has also sought a response from the Centre on petitions challenging newly enacted law on Triple Talaq. The notice was issued on Friday.
A bench of justices N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi issued notice the Centre on a batch of petitions which has sought to declare The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019 as "unconstitutional" on grounds that it allegedly violates the provisions of the Constitution. "We will examine this," the bench told senior advocate Salman Khurshid, who was appearing for one of the petitioners. During the discussion, Justice Ramana asked the petitioners, 'What is wrong with the parliament enacting a law when the court has already found the offence to be unconstitutional? the judge also gave the example of Sati, Dowry, harassment etc being made illegal in the past. Salman Khurshid appearing for the petitioners said that the difference between Triple Talaq and the offences is the impact it has on the wives.
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday challenging the newly enacted law which makes the practice of instant divorce through 'triple talaq' among Muslims a punishable offence entailing imprisonment of up to three years. The fresh plea has been filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, a Muslim body, which sought to declare The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 as "unconstitutional" on the ground that it allegedly violates the provisions of the Constitution. President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the Act which makes 'talaq-e-biddat' or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.
Earlier this month, 'Samastha Kerala Jamiathul Ulema', a religious organisation of Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics in Kerala, had also moved the apex court seeking to declare the newly enacted law as "unconstitutional".In the plea filed through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has claimed that since the pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife had already been declared "void and illegal", there was no requirement to enact the law. "However, the impugned Act criminalises the act of pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband and makes it a cognizable offence, without appreciating that such pronouncement had already been declared unconstitutional and amounted to nullity in the eyes of law," the plea said. Referring to the provision of the Act which stipulates punishment of up to three years jail along with fine, the plea said it is an "ill-conceived provision which imposes excessive and disproportionate punishment." The Act makes it illegal to pronounce talaq three times -- spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic chat -- in one sitting.