Mumbai: Hours after Modi government filed in the Supreme Court of India an affidavit opposing triple talaq and polygamy among Muslims, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Friday while stating that the latest development in the case is not unexpected exuded confidence that its stand on the two issues will sail through in the court.
"The stand of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on triple talaq and polygamy is legally and constitutionally very strong. Once the case will come for hearing, we are sure the board's stand on the two issue will sail through in the Supreme Court", Syed Mohammad Wali Rahmani, General Secretary of the Muslim panel said while talking to ummid.com.
Syed Wali Rahmani skipped direct answer to a question on polygamy but agreed that any move to impose ban on polygamy will further push the society into chaos and will encourage immorality.
At the same time, Syed Wali Rahmani dismissed suggestions that the board in order to avoid interference by the court or government in matters related to Muslim personal law should assure the court that the board in itself will take a "progressive stand" in the issue.
"No such suggestion is in front of the board right now", he said reiterating that the board's stand on the two issues are legally and constitutionally strong and that the board is in a strong position to convince the court on the matter.
Syed Wali Rahmani was responding to the Central government's decision to oppose triple talaq and polygamy in the Supreme Court.
The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit submitted in the Apex Court Friday, referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.
"It is submitted that the issue of validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality," the affidavit filed by Mukulita Vijayawargiya, Additional Secretary in the Ministry, said.
Responding to a batch of petitions including the one filed by Shayaro Bano challenging the validity of such practices among Muslims, the Centre first dealt with the right of gender equality under the Constitution.
"The fundamental question for determination by this court is whether, in a secular democracy, religion can be a reason to deny equal status and dignity available to women under the Constitution of India," it said.
Referring to constitutional principles, it said that "any practice by which women are left 'socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable' or subject to the whims and caprice of men-folk is incompatible with the letter and spirit of Article 14 and 15 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution".
Linking the issue with the Right to Life and Personal Liberty, the Centre in its 29-page affidavit said "gender equality and the dignity of the women are non-negotiable, overarching constitutional value and can brook no compromise.
"These Rights are necessary in letter and in spirit not only to realise the aspirations of every individual woman who is an equal citizen of this country but also for the larger well-being of the society and progress of the nation, one half of which is made up by women".
While there is total unanimity on polygamy, Muslim scholars are divided over the validity of triple talaq in one sitting.