Triple Talaq makes Women socially and financially insecure: Modi Govt

The Narendra Modi government has sought scrapping of triple talaq and polygamy among Muslims, saying such practices are not protected by fundamental right to practice religion according to the Constitution of our country.

In a fresh submission before the Supreme Court Monday evening, the Centre also said that triple talaq made women socially and financially insecure. Union government said that reforms in Muslim personal law have not taken place in the last 65 years and Muslim women, who constitute 8 percent of the population, remain extremely vulnerable because of fear of instant divorce.

The government termed the practices of triple talaq and polygamy as patriarchal notions that impeded women’s role in society.

“Practices such as polygamy cannot be described as being sanctioned by religion, in as much as historically, polygamy prevailed across communities for several centuries, including the ancient Greeks and Romans, Hindus, Jews and Zoroastrians. It had less to do with religion and more to do with social norms at the time,” the Centre submitted before the apex court.

Since a social practice cannot be held to be an integral part of a faith and belief or an “essential religious practice,” it has to satisfy the overarching constitutional goal of gender equality, gender justice and dignity, the government said.

Referring to All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s stand that practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy might be undesirable but are part of essential practice under the religion, Centre said no undesirable practice can be elevated to the status of an essential practice.

The government has also pointed out a vital issue of equality among women in the country, and said in a secular democracy like India, whether religion can be a reason to deny equal status and dignity, which is available to women under the Constitution of our country.