The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court on Monday that Muslim bridegrooms will no longer have the right to resort to “triple talaq” to seek divorce, and that those who do will face social boycott.
The board in its affidavit to the apex court said triple talaq is an undesirable practice and that AIMPLB will issue an advisory — applicable to all Muslims — that at the time of performing nikah (marriage ceremony), kazis will advise bridegrooms that, in case of differences, they shall not pronounce three “talaqs” in one sitting since it this practice is condemned in Shariat. The bride and the groom will also be advised to incorporate this undertaking in the nikahnama.
The board also informed the court that a resolution had been passed in April regarding the social boycott of men who resort to “triple talaq”.
The board’s affidavit placed on record a copy of the resolution passed at its meeting, held in Lucknow on April 15 and 16, in relation to divorce (talaq) in the Muslim community. It was resolved at the meeting to disseminate a code of conduct/guidelines to be followed in the matter of divorce, particularly emphasising that the pronouncement of three divorces in one sitting be avoided.
Appearing for the board earlier, senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal had submitted that the issue of triple talaq, a practice that is faith based and 1,400 years old, cannot be decided by the court. He told the court, “Please don’t enter into this area. It would be hazardous to interpret them in six days as it is not the job of this court. If the community feels that time has come for change, we will accept it. Belief and faith should not be interpreted by court.”
Quoting a survey of about 1,000 Muslim families, Mr Sibal had said that instant triple talaq was not a popular way to end marriages. He said of 371 divorces reported, only one person used triple talaq, and that such cases accounted to only 0.44 per cent of divorces among Muslims.
The AIMPLB told the court on Monday that social boycott of those who resort to triple talaq form of divorce will further reduce the incidents of such divorce.
While stating that the board will issue an advisory to all imams and kazis in the country, it said that the board’s April resolution emphasised that disputes between husband and wife should be settled by mutual interaction.
But in case the differences are irrevocable, then divorce may be resorted to, but never in one go.
The code of conduct states that one option, according to Shariat, is that the husband may pronounce one “talaq” during the period of purity of his wife and leave his wife till the time the waiting period ends. If a favourable situation arises during the waiting period, the husband should retain her and both should live as spouses. If the husband does not retain his wife during this period, then the marriage will be automatically dissolved after the lapse of waiting period and both will be free and authorised to start a new life.
If the wife is pregnant during the waiting period, then the waiting period will extend till the time of delivery. The husband has to pay the expenses incurred during the waiting period and in case the dower has not been paid, then the husband has to pay it immediately.
If the husband and wife reach an amicable settlement after the waiting period, then both of them may solemnise their marriage afresh, along with a new dower.
The second option is that the husband pronounces one “talaq” during the period of the purity of his wife, then another in the second month and the third in the third month. If they reach an amicable settlement before the pronouncement of the third divorce, then the husband has to retain the wife and restore the previous marriage.