GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Centre’s stand on triple
talaq based on gender justice. Comment
Q. Centre’s stand on triple talaq
based on gender justice. Comment. (12.5 Marks)
(General Studies Mains Paper I–Society : Role of women and women's
organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental
Model Answer :
The government has disclosed its stand pursuant to a Supreme Court notice in
the wake of a petition filed by an aggrieved Muslim woman against triple talaq,
who had challenged its validity.
India is a secular country. Secularism is basic structure as
held by the Supreme Court in various judgments, which means it is an unalterable
fundamental norm of governance. In a secular country, can you keep a big segment
of women perpetually vulnerable on the ground of religion or community?
The government stand is primarily guided by justice,
equality, non-discrimination and dignity of woman. In simple terms gender
justice, gender equality and gender dignity. These values flow from our
Constitution, notably the Fundamental Rights. The right to freedom of religion
did not enjoin “every pernicious practice” as being integral to it.
Our Constitution acknowledges the right of faith and religion
to practice it. However, every unfair or discriminatory practice may not be
central to faith. For instance, no one can say I will practice untouchability
because it is part of our faith. That's were constitutional values come in.
Right to equality, non-discrimination on the grounds of sex
and the right to live with dignity were part of our Constitution before the
western world granted these rights to women in their countries and before
international covenants on this were signed globally. Our founding fathers had
envisioned these values and made it the foundation of our Rights. The second
core of our response is that India is a secular country, secularism has been
held to be part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
Many declared Islamic countries have regulated triple talaq
or banned it altogether by legislation including providing for arbitration and
conciliation. The countries include Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia,
Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The point to note is that if in an
acknowledged Islamic country regulating triple talaq has not been found to be
violating of Sharia or any personal law, how such an argument can be relevant in
India, an acknowledged secular country.
The Law Commission as a statutory body has asked for a
consultation on uniform civil code, which is separate from this legal case. The
Law Commission’s wider consultation on the question of a uniform civil code was
separate from the triple talaq issue.