Coming down hard on the controversial issue of triple talaq, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said that the draconian practice is unlawful as Muslim marriages are contracts that cannot be unilaterally cancelled by the husband alone.
The court’s observation came while hearing a petition filed by a man whose wife is pursuing criminal charges against him for torturing her for dowry and then divorcing her when she refused to pay.
The Allahabad HC said the rights of any person including Muslim women cannot be violated in the name of 'personal law'.
The court further said the basic and human rights cannot be exploited on the basis of gender.
"A Muslim husband cannot give divorce in such a manner which would put a question mark on equal rights," the court observed.
It further observed that personal law may be applicable only within the purview of the Constitution adding that fatwa, which is contrary to the judicial system, is not valid.
In December 2016, the Allahabad High Court had termed the practice of divorcing a woman by uttering the word “talaq” thrice as “unconstitutional”.
The court has also observed that the practice violated the rights of Muslim women.
"Triple Talaq is unconstitutional, it violates the rights of Muslim women," ruled the High Court, adding that no personal law board is above the Constitution.
Earlier on March 30 this year, the Supreme Court referred the triple talaq issue to a Constitution bench, which will hear the matter on May 11.
A five-member bench will be constituted by the top court to hear the matter.
The apex court will be hearing a clutch of petitions demanding a ban on the triple talaq practice.