After repeatedly announcing that it would not test the validity of any issue other than triple tala, the Supreme Court on Monday clarified that it had not closed the window to scrutiny of two contentious issues: polygamy and nikah halala.
When a five-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said, “we have taken a conscious decision to deal only with triple talaq”, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi drew the court's attention to the order by a two-judge bench which had mentioned all the three issues.
“By virtue of the reference order, all three issues were to be taken up for adjudication. It is better that the bench deals with all three,” the AG said.
"The scope of referring had all the three issues that was divorce, nikah halala, polygamy. All these three issues are before this court by virtue of the reference order of the two- judge bench," Rohatgi said.
When the AG asked the bench to make it clear that the issues of polygamy and 'nikah halala' are still open and would be dealt by other bench in future, the court clarified "it will be dealt in future."
The apex court bench also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, said it was keeping open the issues of practice of polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims for adjudication in future, as the Centre insisted on judicial deliberations on these aspects as well.
"It may not be possible to deal with all the three issues in the limited time we have. We will keep them pending for future," the bench said.
Meanwhile, the government today told the Supreme Court that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if triple talaq is held invalid and unconstitutional by the court.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, "If the practice of instant divorce (triple talaq) is struck down by the court, then Centre will bring a law to regulate marriage and divorce among the Muslim community."
Rohatgi's submission came when the court asked him what are the remedies for a Muslim man to come out of a marriage if such practices are struck down.