Triple Talaq: SC agrees to examine validity of new triple talaq law, issues notice to centre
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea by a Muslim body challenging the new triple talaq law. The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind moved the apex court on August 23, 2019 questioning the validity of the new Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act of 2019, which makes the practice instant triple talaq a punishable offence.
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind questioned the 3-year jail term prescribed under the new triple talaq law and called it both “disproportionate and excessive”. The Muslim body pointed out that while triple talaq has been made a non-bailable offence with punishment amounting to 3 years of imprisonment, desertion of a wife by the husband is not even an offence in India.
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind noted in its plea that the new law has made the declaration of triple talaq an offense even graver than crimes including rioting, bigamy, bribery, food adulteration, kidnapping, death by negligence or concealment of birth by secret disposal of the body. The Muslim body stated that triple talaq has been made non-bailable, while offences that are even greater such as kidnapping are bailable.
After hearing the plea, the Supreme Court agreed to examine the validity of the new triple talaq law. The SC bench comprising justices N V Ramana and Ajay Rastogi also issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response on the batch of pleas that seek declaration of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019 as "unconstitutional" on grounds that it violates the provisions of the Constitution.
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind is an organisation of Islamic scholars, who belong to the Deobandi School. The Deobandi School came into existence in 1919.
The controversial new triple talaq bill was passed by the Parliament on July 30 with the Rajya Sabha approving it with 99 votes in favour and 84 against. The bill seeks to make the practice by Muslim men of instantly divorcing their wives by stating talaq three times a criminal offence.
The bill was passed despite protests by the opposition, who had demanded that the bill be sent to a select committee for further deliberation and scrutiny as they were against the 3-year jail term clause.
The new Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act received the President’s assent on July 31, 2019.