The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear the Uniform Civil Code issue along with the triple talaq case, ANI reported. The bench said that the two are separate issues. The apex court was hearing a plea seeking a ban on the Islamic practice of unilateral and instantaneous divorce by uttering the word “talaq” thrice. “It’s [triple talaq] a matter of human rights, so we would deal with it properly,” said the bench.
Earlier, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan – one of the petitioners seeking a ban on triple talaq – had condemned the government and conservative Muslim bodies for attempting to suppress the voices of Muslim women by diluting the debate on triple talaq with the controversy over the uniform civil code.
It also condemned efforts by “patriarchal male bodies to misguide the Muslim community” by alluding to the UCC being an “attack on Shariat law and Muslim identity”. “These are two separate issues and should not be treated as similar. Triple talaq takes place without any Quranic sanction and causes tremendous...suffering to Muslim women, whereas UCC is a much larger question concerning all Indian citizens, irrespective of faith,” the group had said.
Their statement came days after the All India Muslim Personal Law Board announced its decision to boycott the questionnaire released by the Law Commission to seek public opinion on the introduction of a uniform civil code. It had argued that the code was unconstitutional and had accused the government of creating discord between communities. The Muslim board and other conservative Muslim institutions, as well as Opposition parties, have expressed their objection to the proposal, accusing the Centre of trying to impose a majoritarian ideology on all communities in the country.
On October 7 last year, the Centre had taken an official stand against triple talaq and polygamy, telling the Supreme Court that gender equality was non-negotiable. However, the Law Commission’s released its questionnaire on the same day, indicating its plans to reform personal family laws into a highly-contested uniform civil code.
For the past year, the Supreme Court has been hearing multiple petitions demanding a ban on the practices of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala on the grounds that they are discriminatory towards Muslim women. The Muslim personal law board has defended these practices in court, for which it has drawn widespread criticism.