SC declines to examine triple talaq ordinance

‘Let Parliament debate its legality’

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to examine the legality of an ordinance, promulgated on September 19, declaring triple talaq a crime.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said two months have already passed since the promulgation of the ordinance, which has even otherwise a life of only six months unless ratified by Parliament. The Chief Justice left it to Parliament to debate the constitutionality of the ordinance, saying the winter session is shortly to commence.

“We don’t like to interfere,” Chief Justice Gogoi addressed the lawyers for Samastha Kerala Jamiathul, one of the biggest religious organisations of Sunni Muslim scholars and clerics in Kerala, which had challenged the ordinance.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran said the very promulgation of the ordinance is a “fraud on the Constitution”. But Chief Justice Gogoi restrained the line of argument, saying it was not necessary to “go so high”.

The court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea. The Jamiathul said the only objective of the ordinance is “to punish Muslim husbands.”

The Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 imposes a maximum sentence of three-year imprisonment when a husband pronounces triple talaq.

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