Triple talaq related to social evils: Centre

New Delhi [India], May 11 : Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday said triple talaq is not a religious issue but related to social evils.

"Triple Talaq not a religious issue but related to social evils. A positive debate started on it. Hope a positive result will come out," he said. Naqvi referred to the issue currently before the Supreme Court -- and being discussed by organisations representing Muslims and others.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) earlier in the day said it was confident that the verdict would be given keeping in mind the provisions of the Indian Constitution.

"We are confident that the verdict will be as per the Constitution. The Muslim Personal Law already addresses the issue of triple talaq being misused and those doing so are punished," AIMPLB member Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali told ANI.

The cleric further said divorce rates within the community were around 0.5 percent, adding that by 2019, triple talaq cases would become negligible.

Supporting his stance, Shaista Amber, President of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) said Muslim Personal law was a way of life, and those misusing its teachings should be punished.

"Women should have the freedom to live without the fear of talaq. The Islamic law is given to us by Allah and we do not want to change it. Women these days are well-versed with the Shariyat law and are not looking to modify, but ensure better protection against triple talaq," she said.

Furthermore, Shaista, while drawing upon secularism in India, said the Muslim women would continue to abide by the Shariyat law, adding that the apex court would surely take religious sentiments and teachings of the Quran into account before pronouncing the verdict.

"Our apex court considers religious beliefs. We are sure the decision will be taken in line with our Muslim personal law and the constitution. Just like how the Hindu Marriage Act exists, there should be a Muslim Marriage law as well," added Shaista.

Maintaining the same stand on the much debated triple talaq, the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it opposes the system and wants to fight for women equality and gender justice.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi would argue the matter next on May 15. However, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) counsel Kapil Sibal told the apex court that triple talaq is a matter which comes under the Muslim board and therefore, in his opinion the top court should not interfere into it.

"The Central Government makes rules but in my opinion the apex court should not interfere into it," Sibal said.

Earlier in the day, the apex court observed that it would examine whether the issue is fundamental to religion or not.

A five-judge bench of the apex court further observed that it would not hear polygamy issue along with the triple talaq case.

The apex court is hearing several pleas filed by Muslim women rejecting the practice of triple talaq. Relentless debates on the validity and plausibility of this practice were instigated soon after one petitioner, Shayara Banu, challenged the Muslim personal law over instantaneous application of triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat), polygamy and nikah-halala.

Supporting the stance of ending the practice of triple talaq, the Allahabad High Court had earlier asserted that the rights of any person, including Muslim women, cannot be violated in the name of 'personal law'.

In December last year, the Allahabad High Court termed the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word "talaq" thrice "unconstitutional".

The court further observed that triple talaq sanctioned under Muslim Personal Law that governs marriage, property and divorce violates the rights of Muslim women.

"Triple talaq is unconstitutional. It violates the rights of Muslim women," ruled the high court, adding that no personal law board was above the Constitution.

Source: ANI