New Delhi, Sept 3: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has made it clear on Friday that the top court of the country has no authority to decide on triple talaq. “Muslim personal laws are outside the purview of the fundamental rights of the Constitution of the country”, the AIMPLB maintained while challenging the apex court’s initiative to judicial review of Islamic personal laws relating to marriage and divorce, for example, triple talaq, that discriminate against the Muslim women.
The AIMPLB noted that religion cannot be “reformed” out of its existence or identity as practices in each religion are unique.
The AIMPLB also alleged that the Supreme Court was trying to indulge in the judicial legislation under the pretext of ‘social reforming’ Islamic laws relating to marriage and divorce. “The practices as mentioned in the Quran are out of bunds for the Supreme Court”, the Board said.
The Board also maintained that these laws are not within the limits of fundamental rights granted by the Indian Constitution, and Article 44 that envisages Uniform Civil Code is only a ‘directive principle’ and cannot be enforced.
“In any event, even while bringing in such a social reform, it is not permissible to change the entire practice or acts done in pursuance of such religion,” the Muslim Personal Law Board claimed.
How the court could decide whether a particular religion needed reforms and another religion not in need of such reforms, the AIMPLB asked stating that each religion has different practices and rules related to marriage, divorce etc.
“Practices in each religion are unique and peculiar to that particular religion only. In such circumstances, one cannot look at the validity of the practices of one religion or judge them as being unequal with the rights in another religion because the practices in each religion are peculiar to only that religion,” the AIMPLB said.
It is not up to the judiciary to “lay down religion for any religious denomination or section.”
“Court cannot supplant its own interpretations over the text of scriptures... whenever the court is confronted with any religious issue, it will look to the religious books of a particular denomination held sacred by it,” the board said.
The effect of Islamic personal law on women recaptured the Supreme Court's attention on October 16, 2015, when a Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and A.K. Goel directed the registration of a suo motu PIL plea titled ‘Muslim women’s quest for equality.’ The Bench had ordered the PIL petition to be placed before an appropriate three-judge Bench for adjudication.
Subsequently, a slew of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court by Muslim women against their personal law. One of them by Shayara Bano had said that she only wished to “secure a life of dignity, unmarred by discrimination on the basis of gender or religion.”