Personal laws not above Constitution, says Allahabad HC on Triple Talaq

RSTV Bureau
File Photo ( PTI )

File Photo ( PTI )

The Allahabad High Court has termed the practice of ‘triple talaq’ as “cruel” and “demeaning”, and an act which violates the Women’s rights. The court’s observation came in an order disposing off a matter arising out of remarriage by a muslim man.

In a petition filed by a 23-year-old woman and her husband, who was elder to her by 30 years and had married her after divorcing his first wife through “triple talaq”, the couple were seeking protection from the harassment caused by the relatives.

Dismissing their petition, the single judge bench of Justice Suneet Kumar in his order on November 5 observed, “Muslim law, as applied in India, has taken a course contrary to the spirit of what the Prophet or the Holy Quran laid down and the same misconception vitiates the law dealing with the wife’s right to divorce”.

“The instant divorce (Triple Talaq) though has been deprecated and not followed by all sects of muslim community in the country, however, is a cruel and the most demeaning form of divorce practised by the muslim community at large,” the order read.

“Personal laws, of any community, cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to the individuals by the Constitution,” the single judge bench order said, adding it would not any further in the matter as the “Supreme Court is seized with the matter”.

The court, however, made it clear that the petitioner couple are adults and “at liberty to choose their own partner” and they “cannot be deprived of their right to life and personal liberty” as per the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

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The debate on triple talaq had recently drawn strong reactions from both the side of opinions.

In Supreme Court the Centre had in September spelled its stand that it will be opposing the triple talaq practice on the grounds of women’s rights.

Hearing the plea filed by Shayara Bano from Uttarakhand, who challenged the practices like triple talaq, polygamy and ‘nikah halala’, terming them as being unconstitutional, the Supreme Court had sought government’s response in the matter.

Two more women from Jaipur and Kolkata, who were divorced through triple talaq had also moved the Supreme Court joining the petition.

On the other side, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) are opposing these petitions in court.

(With inputs from the Agencies)