Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said personal laws should comply with the Indian Constitution and should not violate gender rights. Jaitley, in his Facebook post, 'Triple Talaq and the Government’s Affidavit', said that there was a difference between the case probing ‘Triple Talaq's' constitutional compliance and the Uniform Civil Code. The financial minister said the Supreme Court was only studying the constitutional validity of 'triple talaq'. His post is a reaction to claims that the government was unfairly trying to impose a Uniform Civil Code.
Jaitley said, "The institution of Triple Talaq will have to be judged on the yardstick of equality and the Right to Live with Dignity. Needless to say that the same yardstick would be applicable to all other personal laws." Stating that former governments failed to specify their stand on personal laws complying with fundamental rights, Jaitley stressed that the current government was clear on the controversial issue.
The court had asked the government to respond to a batch of petitions on the rights of Muslim women that challenged the practice of triple talaq. The government had on October 7 told the Supreme Court that the "validity of triple talaq and polygamy should be seen in light of gender justice". The government had said that there was no reason for women in India to be denied their constitutional rights, and that triple talaq, polygamy and nikaah halal "were not integral to the practices of Islam or essential religious practices." Several Muslim bodies, including the Jamaat-e-Islamic Hind criticised the government's stand as a violation of citizens’ right to freedom of religion.