New Delhi: Under Supreme Court lens, now, are laws that discriminate against women. The apex court has agreed to examine a petition challenging the use of ‘Triple Talaq’.

The Supreme Court having taken Suo Moto Cognizance of the ‘Triple Talaq’ issue are saying that they will continue to examine the petition without any interference.

The move has got conservatives in the community enraged, who question the need for such a plea to be heard. The question now is whether India is ready to free women in our country from the grip of archaic laws, be it religious or otherwise.

(Also Read: Supreme Court gives centre 6 weeks to present report on Muslim women and triple ‘talaq’)

“It just so happens, that we [the Islamic community] have different personal laws,” said Gulzar Azmi, SECY, Jamiat Ulama E Maha. “Whatever marital squabbles that take place between husband and wife are judged by the court on the basis of the provisions of the personal law. I believe that our personal law is a freedom given to us by the Indian Constitution and we will not tolerate any changes in said personal law. It is our right and we will continue to fight for it.”

“There are constant debates and discussions about common civil court on the national level,” said BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. “I think a common civil cout issue is a society oriented issue and that we should start preparing society for such issues and look to more enlightenment in society.”

After the Shahbanu case, this is for the first time that a case like this has acquired great legal momentum. The court has already asked the central government to file, within 42 days, as to what they think on uniform civil code. This matter has gone to the Centre.

As for the issue of ‘Triple Talaq’, not only has the issue been admitted, but the Supreme Court will look into it independently.

The All India Muslim Personal Board of Law has already passed their resolution last week.

If the Supreme Court takes a position on this issue, it might just go a long mile in having a uniform civil code of law, which becomes unnecessarily politicised along the religious spectrum. Uniform civil code of law also happens to be about women’s issues, which is apart from what religion or religious customs stand for.

This issue has come up at a time when women’s entry into Haji Ali and Shani Shignapur Temple are issues in the social eye. The petition has come out in such a background, saying that ‘Triple Talaq’ should not be allowed as it allows women to be treated like chattel and as personal property belonging to men.

Other countries with Muslim populations, even Theocracies such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have banned the use of ‘Triple Talaq’ because it is a custom that is widely misused and its rampant misuse.

“People can practice their religion in Mandirs, Masjids, Gurudwaras or wherever they want to,” said BJP leader R.P. Singh. “Rights for women have to be common all over the country, whether she belongs to any religion.”

“I don’t think the time is right for us to dig up issues like this,” said NCP leader Majeed Memon. “As it is Muslims are entertaining some kind of fear of discrimination by the Centre and by the BJP government. So to add fuel to fire, these delicate religious issues need not be touched at this juncture. We have so many other priorities. We must talk of inflation, unemployment and black money, rather than going to talk of Muslim personal law.”

“I think it’s a good decision that Supreme Court has taken to give in time to reflect and study the laws. There are two things that we need a major paradigm shift in laws regarding women’s issues in Islam,” said Sadiya Dehlvi, Women’s Rights Activist. “We need new light. ‘Triple Talaq’ is not in the Quran. It is not the basis of the Quran. Many Muslim countries have banned it. It is called the codification of family laws. Some of them are progressive, while some still have various other issues where we need to move forward.”

“’Triple Talaq’ being practiced in India is mostly anti-Quranic,” said T.A. Rehmani, Muslim Political Council. “I can say it clearly without mincing words, the procedure for ‘Triple Talaq’ which we are practicing in India is anti-Islamic.”

With even Muslim scholars differing on, firstly, the validity of ‘Triple Talaq’ as it is used in India as well as the legitimacy of such a practice as per the Quran. The Supreme Court will be taking all of these voices into consideration from the length and breadth of the country as far as this hearing is concerned.

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