'If the practice of instant divorce (triple talaq) is struck down by the court, then Centre will bring a law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community,' attorney general Mukul Rohatgi earlier told the Supreme Court. Photograph: (Reuters)
India's top court, the Supreme Court of India Thursday reserved its verdict on batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of talaq practice among Muslims.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar heard the issue for six days during which various parties including the government, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board and various others made the submissions.
The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, had begun the hearing on May 11.
The members of the bench are from different religious communities including Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim.
The bench had made it clear that it would examine whether the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is fundamental to their religion and had also said for the time being it will not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy and "nikah halala".
It had also said that the issue of polygamy and "nikah halala" would be kept pending and will be dealt with later.
"Nikah Halala" is a practice intended to curb the incidence of divorce under which a man cannot remarry his former wife without her going through the process of marrying someone else, consummating it, getting divorced, observing the separation period called "Iddat" and then returning to him.
The apex court had on its own taken cognisance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.
The hearing assumed significance as the apex court has heard the matter during the summer vacation.