3-MIN READ

Attorney General Rohatgi Terms Muslim Women 'A Minority Within Minority'

Outgoing Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Photo: Getty Images

Outgoing Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Photo: Getty Images

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, rebutting All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Counsel Kapil Sibal’s argument of ‘majority cannot make laws for the minority’, on Wednesday said that triple talaq was an “intra-minority issue where the men formed the class of ‘haves’ and women were the ‘have-nots’” and stated that courts were not the place to discuss religious texts.

Debayan Roy
Share this:

New Delhi: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, rebutting All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Counsel Kapil Sibal’s argument of ‘majority cannot make laws for the minority’, on Wednesday said that triple talaq was an “intra-minority issue where the men formed the class of ‘haves’ and women were the ‘have-nots’” and stated that courts were not the place to discuss religious texts.


“The prism from which you are looking at this issue is not majority versus the minority. This is an intra-minority case where women of the minority have become a minority themselves due to the dominance of the men. A question of legislation does not arise as SC has previously intervened in areas where there were no legislations. Here, men have been the bread earners and the ones running the family, whereas the women have been the suppressed ones. It is a tussle between the haves and have-nots within the minority,” said the Attorney General.


On the question of whether the Centre would bring in legislation or not, Rohatgi said that even when there was no legislation, courts had all the authority to intervene.


“I have already proposed to the court of law on what I had been instructed (by the government) on whether we can bring in a law if all forms of talaq are abolished. But look at the Vishaka judgment, where the court itself delved into the area and issued guidelines which had formed the basis of a law at a later date,” said Rohatgi.


Rohatgi, however, dismissed the notion that courts should be a place to discuss religion. “I have been seeing that the court has been deliberating various religious texts, but this is my humble submission that court is not the forum to debate religious texts but only the constitution,” said the counsel for the Union of India.


“A secular constitution has to rise above all this. It has to then say that rights will be protected, but if it is contrary to the Constitution, then it will be vague. Hence Section 2 of the Shariat Application Act of 1937 needs to be tested under Article 25,” said Rohatgi.


The court was not impressed with Rohatgi’s argument that if “Sati, untouchability, female infanticide and child marriage were done away with despite being ancient practices, why not the practice of instant talaq?”


“Which among these had been struck down by the court of law? None. It was all done away with by the way of legislations by the parliament,” said CJI Khehar.


The Attorney General questioned Sibal’s line of argument that the practice of Triple Talaq should not be abolished just because it’s “1400 years old”. “Women have been deprived for the last 1400 years. This (SC) court has stated that what is not essential to religion shall not be safeguarded under Article 25 of the Constitution. Now these women have been subjected to this practice for so many years and now you come and say that it can be done away with as a clause in the Nikahnama? We need to check what is essential… When AIMPLB themselves are saying that the practice is sinful, undesirable, then how can it be essential to the religion,” said Mukul Rohatgi.


Share this:
Next Story
corona virus btn
corona virus btn
Loading