India's top court refers Triple Talaq petitions to Constitution bench

The Supreme Court will set up a five-judge constitution bench to decide on petitions relating to Triple Talaq. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI New Delhi, India Feb 16, 2017, 04.52 PM (IST)

India's top court said on Thursday that it will set up a five-judge constitution bench to hear and decide on a batch of petitions relating to the practice of triple talaq, 'nikah halala' and polygamy among Muslims.

Triple talaq allows Muslim men instant divorce by saying the word "talaq" three times

The practice of 'Nikah Halala' implies that a man cannot remarry a woman after Triple Talaq unless she has already consummated her marriage with another man and her new husband dies or divorces her.

The Centre had submitted a list of issues for adjudication to the top court including the question of whether the fundamental right to practice and propagate one's religion protected the practice of Triple Talaq, 'Nikah Halala' and polygamy among Muslims, PTI reported.

Referring to the legal issues framed by the Centre, the court said all of them related to constitutional issues and needed to be dealt with by a larger bench.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar took on record three sets of issues framed by parties with regard to the cases and said the questions for consideration of the constitution bench would be decided on March 30.

The bench, also comprising Justices NV Ramana and DV Chandrachud, said "the issues are very important. These issues cannot be scuttled".

The bench also made it clear that it is willing to sit on Saturdays and Sundays to decide on the issue as it was very important. 

The BJP-led NDA government has opposed such practices among Muslims on grounds like gender equality, secularism and binding international covenants.

(WION with inputs from PTI)