The Central government on Monday, May 15, told the Supreme Court it would frame a new law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if triple talaq is held invalid and unconstitutional by the Constitution bench of the apex court that is hearing the case.
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi told the five-judge Constitution bench — comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer and headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar: "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."
Rohatgi announced this after the court asked him what the remedies are for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.
Earlier on Monday the top court had said it was keeping open the issues of practice of polygamy and "nikah halala" among Muslims for adjudication in future. According to the Centre these aspects also need equal jurisdiction. "It may not be possible to deal with all the three issues in the limited time we have. We will keep them pending for future," the bench said.
Rohtagi pointed out that polygamy and "nikah halala" were also part of the order of a two-judge bench of the apex court that had referred the case to the Constitution bench. "The scope of referring had all the three issues that was divorce, nikah halala and polygamy. All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two-judge bench," Rohatgi said.
The A-G also asked the bench to clarify that both polygamy and "nikah halala" are still open and would be dealt with by another bench in future, following which the court clarified that "it will be dealt in future."
Monday was the last day for those challenging triple talaq to state their points before the five judges from different religions: Sikh, Christian, Parsee, Hindu and Muslim. The court has also given three days to those defending it.
In its last hearing on Friday, the apex court had observed that triple talaq was the "worst" and "not a desirable" way to end marriages among Muslims.
While veterans like jurist Ram Jethmalani and former Union minister and Islamic scholar Arif Mohammad Khan has strongly opposed the practice of triple talaq, senior lawyer and Congress veteran Salman Khurshid has echoed the various schools of thought and the stand of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and has said though triple talaq is "abhorrent", it is still valid.