Men are better decision makers on triple talaq, Muslim Board tells SC

NEW DELHI: The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board on Friday pleaded with the Supreme Court not to go into the validity of ‘triple talaq’ and other provisions of personal laws as these fell in the legislative domain, besides being based on religious scriptures while opposing pleas of alleged gender discrimination faced by Muslim women in divorce cases.

“Shariah grants the right to divorce to husband because men have greater power of decision making. They are more likely to control emotions and not take a hasty decision,” the counter affidavit filed by the board said.

AIMPLB also said the issue relating to Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and nikah halala are matters of legislative policy and cannot be interfered with. “Courts cannot supplant its own interpretations over the text of scriptures” and step into the area of the legislature, the Board said.

The apex court had sought the Board’s response to a batch of PILs, including a suo motu petition, for and against such laws. Several Muslim women have also challenged the validity of “triple talaq,” polygamy and remarriage restrictions.

“Muslim personal laws were based on the tenets of Islam and as such the judiciary had no power to adjudicate on their validity in the face of women’s fundamental right to equality,” the affidavit states.

AIMPLB said the presumption that triple talaq was arbitrary and unreasonable was a fallacy of reason and it was a misconception that Muslim men enjoyed unilateral powers in respect of divorce.

On the issue of polygamy, the board said that though Islam permitted the practice, it was not encouraged. The Muslim Personal Law had provided for the practices to be followed on the issues of marriage, divorce and maintenance and these practices were based on holy scripture Al Quran, it contended.

“The rights of Muslim women were already protected by virtue of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 which had been upheld by the Supreme Court,” it added.

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