NEW DELHI: A unique, multi-faith five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, with a Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim on it, concluded hearings on the challenge to the triple talaq practice on Thursday but Justice Abdul Nazeer did not utter a single word during the six-day hearing.CJI J S Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman and U U Lalit freely engaged the counsel seeking clarifications on doubts over religious practices and customs of the Muslim community, but Justice Nazeer had no question to ask. Probably, he was well aware of the origin, practice and prevalence of triple talaq+ among Muslims in India and abroad.No hearing in any court in India on any Muslim custom, practice or personal law can be complete without referring to Sir Dinshah Fardunji Mulla’s monumental work on interpretation of Mohamedan law.
When Mulla was referred to by senior advocate Salman Khurshid on Thursday, Justice Nariman said, “Mulla was not only a great scholar on Muslim law but also a qualified priest like me in the Parsi community.” Justice Joseph, who had absented himself from the Chief Justices Conference in 2015 protesting at the event being scheduled on Good Friday and shooting off a letter to the PM reminding him that equal importance must be shown to sacred days of all religions, was the most vociferous. He asked simple and intricate questions about the connection between religion and social practices. He also made the counsel feel at ease before the bench.
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While AIMPLB was adamant that Muslim personal law practices could not be tested for its validity by courts, the petitioners were adamant that triple talaq was a blot on the Muslim community for denying right to equality to women. With the division getting sharper as the conclusion of hearing neared, senior advocate Indira Jaising said, “The SC has to walk the razor’s edge.
There is no escaping this.” CJI Khehar replied in a lighter vein, “If we walk the razor’s edge, we will be cut into two.” Another advocate, Ashwini Upadhyay, attempted to ridicule AIMPLB’s stand saying tomorrow there would be a Hindu Personal Law Board to take a rigid stand on Hindu practices. The bench stopped him and said, “You are a lawyer, don’t argue this.”
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Source: Bing News