While defending Triple Talaq in front of the constitutional five-member Bench in Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 16), the All India Muslim Personal Board explained the purpose of Nikaahnama to the bench. Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, who was speaking on AIMPLB’s behalf, said that it is a marital contract in which women can include clauses to protect their interest and dignity in the relationship.

Maqbool added that a woman has four choices before entering into a marital relationship with a Muslim man, which also includes registering the marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. “The woman can also negotiate in the nikaahnama and include provisions therein consistent with Islamic law to contractually stipulate that her husband does not resort to Triple Talaq, she has right to pronounce Triple Talaq in all forms, and ask for very high ‘mehr’ amount in case of Talaq and impose such other conditions as are available to her in order to protect her dignity,” the Muslim law board said, reported TOI.

However, last year, the Muslim organization had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court answering to the petitions filed by Shayara Bano and others in opposition of Triple Talaq. In the affidavit, it had mentioned, “Sharia grants right to divorce to husbands because men have greater power of decision-making.”

“A Muslim man can delegate his power of pronouncing Talaq to his wife or to any other person. However, such delegation does not deprive the husband of his own right to pronounce Talaq,” quoted Kapil Sibal from Article 371A of the Constitution. Sibal cited the Constitution in order to question the court about judging the constitutionality of the practice. He further added that even the Constitution wants to preserve the matters of practice and customs of communities.

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The board’s view on polygamy is, “Quran, Hadith and the consensus view allow Muslim men to have up to four wives.”

It added, “”However, polygamy meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women. Since polygamy is endorsed by primary Islamic sources, it cannot be dubbed as something prohibited,” it said. “…polygamy is not for gratifying men’s lust, it is a social need.”

The Supreme Court has started holding hearings for Triple Talaq since May 11. The five-member constitutional bench comprises Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer headed by Chief Justice of India J S Kehar.

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