The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Saturday faced criticism for trying to defend triple talaq, the practice in which Muslim men can orally end their marriages, by saying that while it is the “least appreciated” means of divorce, it is permitted under Shariat or Muslim personal law. The AIMPLB made this claim in an affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court, which is hearing several petitions against triple talaq.

According to The Hindu, the board said, “uncontrolled use of divorce without regard to the restrictions established by the Shariat is a sin”. However, it claimed that the law permitting it is a means to “keep dignity intact” for both the man and the woman. The board also said that it is a misconception that the law is misused by Muslim men, and that “personal laws cannot be re-written in the name of social reforms”, The Times of India reported.

However, activists condemned the board’s statements, saying its stand was “obstinate and rigid”. Communist Party of India leader Brinda Karat said the board has “refused to listen to the many pleas of women on the complete unfairness of arbitrary triple talaq.” Former National Commission for Women member Shamina Shafiq said no woman would have moved court had the board sat down and listened to their problems.