India's top court to view 'triple talaq' case as human rights issue

The Supreme Court will also dispose of all petitions on the same day it gives its verdict. Photograph:( AFP )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 14, 2017, 10.01 AM (IST)

India's highest court said it would treat the matter of 'triple talaq' as a human rights case.

Several legal schools of Islam around the world view 'triple talaq' as a legitimate way for a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word 'talaq' (repudiation or simply divorce) thrice.

The system has come under attack from several women's groups who perceive the law to be outdated, though the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has remained steadfast about the validity of the divorce procedure.

India's Supreme Court on Tuesday said: "It's (triple talaq) a matter of human rights, so we would deal with it properly."

The court also said it would dispose of all petitions related to 'triple talaq' and give a verdict about it on May 11.

The 'triple talaq' case was first brought to the courts of India when Shayara Banu filed a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking to amend the current Muslim law.

Besides questioning the practice, she also wants the court to outlaw polygamy and 'nikah halal'.

Under 'nikah halal', a woman must consummate another marriage in order to get back to her first husband if she wants to.

The legitimacy of 'triple talaq' has also been attacked by the federal government and one of the high courts in India in the past

The federal government has called the 'triple talaq' system as gender discrimination. The right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has repeatedly called for a uniform civil code in the country.

At present, Muslims in India are governed by the tenets laid down by a personal law board.

Last December, Allahabad high court in India had ruled the divorce procedure to be "unconstitutional" and that it violated the rights of Muslim women.

But the Muslim Law Board has stoutly opposed any changes to the current divorce system, arguing that Sharia laws cannot be modified or altered by any authority.

(WION with inputs from ANI)