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Triple talaq unconstitutional, it violates rights of Muslim women: Allahabad high court

Author: Shailvee Sharda, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 8, 2016
URL:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Triple-talaq-unconstitutional-it-violates-rights-of-Muslim-women-Allahabad-high-court/articleshow/55869880.cms

In a major boost to women's rights, the Allahabad high court today called the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by saying the word 'talaq' three successive times "unconstitutional" and called it a violation of the rights of Muslim women.

"Triple talaq is unconstitutional; it violates the rights of Muslim women. No Personal Law Board is above the Constitution," said the Allahabad high court in its order.

The order was passed by Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her.

Justice Kumar also said that triple talaq can't be given arbitrarily. "Personal Law cannot be above the Constitutional law," he stated.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it has the right to appeal the court's jusdgement.

"We respect the verdict of the High Court but the constitution has given us the right to file an appeal against any order," said the AIMPLB's Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali.

He added that the order would be studied by AIMPLB's legal committee so it can be challenged.

"About the practice being unconstitutional, I just have to say that the practice is a part of Islamic law. The personal law is an integral part of Islam and the two cannot be seen in isolation," Mahali added.

ANI @ANI_news
This should have happened long ago, I am happy that my Muslim sisters will have more rights in life: Renuka Chowdhury, Congress
1:02 PM - 8 Dec 2016

Incidentally, the Supreme Court is also hearing a petition challenging the validity of triple talaq, as several individuals and NGOs have sought a ban on its practice.

In fact, even the government, for the first time, has opposed the practice in the apex court.

ANI @ANI_news
Islam is 1 of most progressive religions about women's rights. Talaq is part of Sharia law, no interference should be there: Kamal Faruqui pic.twitter.com/210VRuTkzn

ANI @ANI_news
Constitution gives me right to follow my religion. Its observation by court, not decision: Kamal Faruqui All India Muslim Personal Law Board pic.twitter.com/kqxLiEvtT8
12:55 PM - 8 Dec 2016

"The issue of validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality," the Centre said.

Still, the AIMPLB has said the courts have no role to play in Personal Law, which they say falls under the Fundamental Right to practice religion.

In 1986, the Rajiv Gandhi government passed a law to overturn the Supreme Court's Shah Bano verdict that had granted Muslim women lifelong alimony rights with conditions.
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