Amend Muslim divorce law: HC

Emphasising on the need to reform the Muslim divorce law, the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Centre government to consider formulating a codified law to govern the divorce of Muslims.

The court while deprecating the practice of triple talaq observed that justice had become elusive to the Muslim women. It was imperative that to advance justice, law should be formulated without any repugnance to the religions freedom guaranteed under the Constitution.

The court made the observation while disposing of a slew of cases arising out of triple talaq.

The court pointed out that settlement of law relating to talaq was necessary and the State intervention was required to regulate the triple talaq practice. The court noted that leading Islamic scholars had frowned upon the practice of triple talaq saying it revolted against Allah’s law.

Besides, the judicial pronouncements by the Supreme Court and various High Courts had depreciated the practice of triple talaq. The triple talaq practice in the country was not in accordance with the Quran.

The court observed that the government was constitutionally bound and committed to respect the promise of equality before law. It could not shirk its responsibility by remaining mute spectators of the malady suffered by the Muslim women in the name of religion and their inexorable quest for justice. Therefore, the government should consider reforming the divorce law of Muslim in the country.

The court wondered why the government was so hesitant to reform the law. It appeared that the resistance was from a small section of Ulemas (scholars in the community) on the ground that Sharia is immutable and any interference amounted to negation of freedom of religion guaranteed under the Constitution.

The government also feared that a reform would offend religious freedom. Besides, it was not possible for the government to curb such practices by invoking penal law alone. The only way out was to regulate the divorce law.

The court added that laws were amenable for change in tune with the time. Any attempt to reform religion should be treated as an attempt to preserve freedom of religion. It was not open for any Muslim to oppose any attempt on the part of the State within constitutional policy to make reforms not inconsistent with religious precepts.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 5:15:20 PM |

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