Triple talaq 'worst form' of dissolution of marriage among Muslims: SC

While Jethmalani attacked the practice on constitutional grounds, including the right to equality, and called triple talaq "abhorrent", Khan said it was akin to the pre-Islamic era practice in the Arabian region of burying a female child alive.

Jethmalani urged the court to declare the practice unconstitutional under Article 13 (laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights) of the Constitution.

Jethmalani said, "The right of triple talaq is available only to the husband and not to the wife and it breaches the Article 14 [Right to Equality] of the Constitution".

Khurshid said the irrevocable nature of Triple Talaq can be negated if the three-time pronouncement of Talaq in one go is considered one leaving the scope for reconciliation and re-union during the "iddat" (waiting) period.

The SC then asked him,"can anything sinful be taken as ordained by God and made into a law by men?"

Chadha, who appeared for the lead petitioner Sharaya Bano, said that talaq by Muslim women under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, was appealable till the top court but not when under the same statute a man divorces his wife.

He said there was no adjudication to determine the validity of the grounds of talaq.

There is a six-day schedule for the hearing, which will comprise of three days hearing defense for triple talaq, and three days hearing opposition to it.

A landmark case challenging the controversial Muslim custom of "triple talaq" that yields instant divorce has opened in India's highest court, with activists hoping to ban the practice after a long and bitter campaign.

The Bench continued with the hearing in the post-lunch session.

The multi-faith bench of five judges - a Hindu, a Sikh, a Christian, a Zoroastrian and a Muslim - had on Thursday made clear it would not examine the Islamic custom of polygamy and nikah halala while hearing petitions against triple talaq. We are on (the side of) gender justice, equality for women and dignity of women.

Several Muslim women have challenged the triple talaq.

Mehta did not answer the court's query as attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi is expected to argue the NDA government's stand on Monday.

The hearing assumes significance as the apex court has chose to hear the case during the summer vacation and is likely to sit on Saturdays and Sundays to expeditiously decide the contentious and sensitive issues arising in the matter.

"Not only is triple talaq non-fundamental, it violates everything in Islam", he said, adding that the Quran lays down the procedure for marriage and divorce.

To this regard, women activist and member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Shamina Shafiq, while supporting the apex court's stance, said the focus on triple talaq was the need of the hour.

However, Muslim organisations like the AIMPLB have opposed the court's adjudication of these matters, maintaining that these practices stemmed from the Holy Quran and hence not justifiable. The Supreme Court must focus on triple talaq, since Muslim women are facing the brunt of this.

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