New Delhi/Allahabad/Mumbai: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ruled that Triple Talaq was unconstitutional. The Saffron groups comprising of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena have lauded the verdict while the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it will file appeal against the ruling.
The Allahabad High Court bench said the concept violated human rights and that personal law of any community cannot be placed above the Constitution.
"Triple Talaq violates the rights of Muslim women," the bench said.
"No personal law board is above the Constitution," the bench said, in an apparent reference to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board that favours Triple Talaq.
"Even the Holy Quran terms the practice a wrongful act," the bench added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hailed the Allahabad High Court's decision on triple talaq as progressive and said that it should be welcomed by all regardless of political affiliations.
BJP leader and former home secretary R.K Singh said it is a correct decision, adding one can't oppress half the population in today's time.
"It was an oppression on the Muslim women. They were raising their voices against triple talaq. Some orthodox people are objecting to it. It is a progressive move by the court," Singh told ANI.
Resonating similar sentiments, another BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said that politics should not be done on women's rights.
"It is a progressive decision by the court. It should be welcomed by all regardless of political affiliations. Those who have tried to do politics ...I will try to make them understand that for the betterment of the society don't do politics on women's rights because if they are the minority. Violating their rights is violating the society. All should welcome this decision," she added.
"Sharia law is not applicable in the country. If it would have been applicable then according to Criminal Justice system, their hands/heads would have been cut off. The decision will benefit the Muslim community," she said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray while commenting on the matter said that the Allahabad High Court's verdict on triple talaq is very important and should not end up like the Shah Bano case.
"Allahabad High Court's verdict on triple talaq is important and respectful. It should not end up like Shah Bano case," said the Shiv Sena chief.
The Shah Bano case was a controversial maintenance lawsuit wherein a Muslim woman named Shah Bano, was divorced by her husband in 1978. She filed a criminal suit in the Supreme Court of India, in which she won the right to alimony from her husband. However, she was subsequently denied the alimony when the Indian Parliament reversed the judgement under pressure from the Islamic orthodoxy.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on the other hand said it will appeal against the Allahabad High Court ruling against Triple Talaq.
"It is an observation by the court and I don't know in what context it has been made. Even it is a judgment, it is of no significance because the entire matter is before the Supreme Court," AIMPLB member Kamal Faruqi said.
"We have filed affidavits before the Supreme Court and given our detailed view about Triple Talaq.
"It is not a question of Muslims alone but about all religious entities who have been given the guarantee under the Constitution to follow their faith and religion. Therefore, only the Supreme Court verdict matters," said Faruqi.
Faruqi reacted strongly to the High Court observation that personal law of a community cannot be placed above the Constitution.
"With due respect to the judge, it is the same Constitution that gives the me the protection and freedom to follow my religion. Talaq is part of Sharia law."
Another AIMPLB member, Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, too defended Triple Talaq and said the Board was mulling filing an appeal against the high court ruling.
"Triple Talaq is an integral part of our religion and the Muslim Personal Law Board.
"If 8-10 cases of Triple Talaq are reported across the country when the Muslim population is 20 core, it doesn't mean the law should be abolished or changed," said Mahali, the Naib Imam of Lucknow's Aishbagh Eidgah.
"The Personal Law Board works within the parameters of the Constitution and it not right to suggest we are above the Constitution.
"Our legal committee is studying the verdict and we will move in appeal against it," he added.
Triple talaq is interpreted as the Islamic practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word talaq thrice. Most Muslim countries do not approve of it.