In­di­vid­ual’s rights above triple ta­laq, says Al­la­habad HC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ji­ten­dra Sarin let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com Sa­gar Ra­jput sa­gar.ra­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

Is­lamic laws on di­vorce are mis­in­ter­preted to give un­bri­dled au­thor­ity to men but in­flict “tyranny” and suf­fer­ing on women, the Al­la­habad high court ob­served on Thurs­day, reignit­ing the de­bate on one of In­dia’s most con­tentious re­li­gious is­sues.

But court re­fused to com­ment on the le­gal­ity of the prac­tice of triple ta­laq — un­der which a man can di­vorce a woman by ut­ter­ing the word “ta­laq” thrice — and said any com­mu­nity’s per­sonal laws can­not over­ride an in­di­vid­ual’s con­sti­tu­tional rights. Jus­tice Suneet Ku­mar said a view that Mus­lim men en­joyed “ar­bi­trary and uni­lat­eral power” to in­flict instant di­vorce didn’t match with Is­lamic law. “Should Mus­lim wives suf­fer this tyranny for all time? Should their per­sonal law re­main so cruel to­wards these un­for­tu­nate wives? Can the per­sonal law be amended suit­ably to al­le­vi­ate their suf­fer­ings?” Ku­mar asked.

Is­lamic per­sonal laws that gov­ern mar­riage, di­vorce and in­her­i­tance are among In­dia’s most con­tro­ver­sial codes and face a bar­rage of le­gal chal­lenge in the SC by Mus­lim women. The govern­ment has told the top court that triple ta­laq was against gen­der jus­tice, equal­ity and the Con­sti­tu­tion, and Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has called the prac­tice a grave in­jus­tice to women.

A 30-year-old as­pir­ing ac­tress was cheated of Rs24,400 by a man, who promised her a lead role op­po­site Sal­man Khan in a forth­com­ing film.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the woman was called by one Sahil Par­ishradha, who claimed to be from Sal­man Khan Pro­duc­tion House, and a rel­a­tive of Shera (Khan’s body­guard), of­fer­ing her a lead role.

An of­fi­cer from the Gamdevi po­lice sta­tion, on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he is not au­tho­rised to speak to the me­dia, said, “The woman got the first call in Septem­ber wherein the ac­cused claimed he holds a high post in Sal­man Khan’s pro­duc­tion house and that he got her num­ber from a mutual friend.”

Par­ishradha then be­gan con­tacted the woman on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and asked her to de­posit Rs24,400 in his ac­count as “ini­tial con­tract fees”.

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