Triple talaq should've been repealed earlier

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To this Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, one of the five judges constituting the bench asked, if they should not hear the matter at all.

However, Muchchala, who is also a member of the Executive Committee of the AIMPLB, referred to the recent resolution passed by the AIMPLB conclave at Lucknow wherein the Board has asked the community to boycott the men who take recourse to instant triple talaq to dissolved their marriages.

The SC bench also wanted to know from AIMPLB that whether the board's advisory will be followed by the Qazis at the ground level.

The Supreme Court today asked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) whether a woman can be given an option of saying "no" to triple talaq at the time of execution of "nikahnama" (Islamic marriage contract).

To this query, one of AIMPLB's lawyers Yousuf Muchala told the SC bench that board's advisory is not mandatory for all Qazis to follow.

In a letter written to AIMPLB chief Maulana Syed Rabe Nadvi, in October previous year, the body had reportedly criticised the board's stand and said that it would only lead to the strengthening of allegations that the community considers woman inferior to men and fuel further anger against it. He said "When triple talaq is going on for 1,400 years, how can you say it is unconstitutional?" Who are we to say that this is un-Islamic. "We are aware that we need to change, though we do not want others to interfere and force the change on us", he said. It's a matter of faith. "It violates the rights of Muslim women", ruled the high court, adding that no personal law board was above the Constitution. Rohatgi further contended that the apex court was not an ecclesiastical court and suggested that it was not the place to interpret the Quran.

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A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the contentious triple talaq case.

Sibal said the minority Muslims needed protection of their customs and practices in a Hindu majority democratic country.

Referring to the attorney general's argument that triple talaq failed to meet constitutional requirements on the grounds of equity and equality, Sibal said matters of faith and belief emerged from mandates of a religion which had been practised for centuries by a community expressing allegiance to that religion.

Earlier, Sibal asked the top court as to how a 1400-year-old practice be branded "unconstitutional".

The SC is hearing a batch of petitions that challenge the constitutional validity of triple talaq and "nikah halala".

Sibal, however, agreed with fellow AIMPLB counsel Muchhala's argument that triple talaq was "undesirable". He used the example of Lord Ram's birth in Ayodhya being a faith to defend triple talaq.

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