Digital Desk, New Delhi. The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a plea seeking a direction to declare Talaq-e-Ehsaan and all other forms of unilateral non-judicial dissolution of marriages under Muslim Personal Law. The plea had sought a direction from the court that the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) is unconstitutional for violating Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Act. Justice S.K. Kaul and A.S. Oka agreed to hear the petition. Along with this, notices were issued to the Center and others, including the National Commission for Women.
The petition, filed by a Pune-based woman, states that her husband had divorced her by sending a letter through speed post under Talaq-e-Ehsan. Because the husband asked for money to buy the car and the wife refused to give the money. The petition states that as per the customs and procedure, Talaq-e-Ehsaan requires the pronouncement of talaq once, followed by abstinence from matrimonial relationship for three months and thereafter, if If the husband and wife still do not want to live together, then the relationship ends, that is, divorce.
The plea has also sought a direction to the Center and others to frame guidelines for gender, religion and the process of divorce. The petition, filed through advocate Nirmal Kumar Ambastha, states that, the petitioner tried to approach the local police against the atrocities and harassment committed by her husband and in-laws, but the local police cited Talaq-e-Ehsaan as The case was not registered.
The plea said that all the process of dissolving marriages like Talaq-e-Ehsaan and others only to annul marriages for Muslim men as an extra-judicial unilateral process, which is neither in line with modern principles of gender equality. And neither is religion. The petition states that the petitioner’s husband sent her a letter of divorce on July 16 through speed post, in which various baseless and false allegations were made against her.
Muslim personal law allows men to terminate talaq-e-ehsan and marriages unilaterally, but does not allow women to do so. This is violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India. Since Muslim Personal Law is fighting a battle of justification by resorting to Article 13(1) of the Constitution. It is of the view that, it should be void to infringe any right under Article 13(1) of the Constitution of India and Part III thereof.
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